High school aims to help students through series of surveys during distance learning

The high school sent out a series of surveys to all students via email to ensure their academic and emotional needs were being met during distance learning.

The survey asked students to rate their academic performance from one to five, rate their stress level from one to five, and indicate if they needed to talk to anyone from the school. The surveys also gave the students the ability to communicate to teachers.

Assistant Principal Craig McMillen distributed the surveys and said that the high school foresaw distance learning as a stressful time for both students and faculty. This was one of the main reasons behind distributing the survey, he said.

The purpose was to identify students that were struggling academically, emotionally or both so that we could follow up with those students specifically and additionally,” McMillen added. “The opportunity to indicate that you wanted someone from the school to contact you was an option if you just wanted to share about your experience, ask a question or provide a suggestion.

The high school acted on a case-by-case basis when it came to helping students rather than a holistic school wide change, McMillen explained. Some students responded well to the surveys while others did not, he said. 

“Survey fatigue is a real thing…we won’t be sending out anymore surveys in the subsequent weeks,” McMillen said.

Sophomore Sofie Sheridan said she felt there could be more frequent emails and more of an effort made for those who were identified as struggling.

“If a student seemed to be struggling more emotionally, there could be a separate survey to go in depth more about the students emotions,” Sheridan said.

McMillen said the majority of the changes that were prompted by the surveys were done at the student level, so it might not have been noticeable change. 

Despite the challenges presented by distance learning, the high school is proud of its efforts made during distance learning, he said.

When I found myself feeling the strain of managing distance learning while finalizing preparations for hybrid, I would jump in a class for a few minutes to remind myself of the reason behind my work,” McMillen said.