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Nassau BOCES releases school reopening data findings

Statewide Virtual Conversation Regarding Reopening Schools

Download the full report (PDF).

Download the Focus on Nassau BOCES report (PDF).

Dr. Dillon Leads Statewide Thoughtexchange, Highlights COVID-19 Concerns Regarding School Reopening Plans

Nassau BOCES officials released the results of a survey today, containing data from Nassau County residents to assist education policymakers in understanding the thoughts and concerns of parents, community members and staff regarding the reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state-wide survey reached more than 60,000 participants in total, of which 18 percent or 10,923 were from Nassau County. The data will impact plans and procedures put in place at more than 50 school districts across Nassau County.

Like much of the state, thoughts from Nassau County residents call for returning to in-person schooling in the fall. The theme “in-person instruction important,” received 24 percent of the 1,500 thoughts from those surveyed. This was followed closely by the theme “cleaning/disinfecting/hand sanitizer,” which received 22 percent of the thoughts, followed by the pros and cons of remote learning, which received about 12 percent of the thoughts.

“Collectively, the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) created a statewide online virtual conversation utilizing Thoughtexchange. Now, we are carefully reviewing the information obtained through the survey to understand the thoughts and concerns of community members and staff regarding reopening school buildings,” said Nassau BOCES District Superintendent, Dr. Robert R. Dillon. “The feedback we’ve received will provide some much-needed guidance for how we move forward. This is an entirely new set of circumstances for everyone in education—and it is not a one-size-fits-all.”

Between May 15 and May 29, Nassau BOCES asked its 56 component school districts to share the exchange and encourage participation. Conducted through the virtual conversation tool, Thoughtexchange, the survey was one part of a greater statewide online virtual survey conducted by 37 BOCES throughout New York State.

“This is a crucial conversation,” added Dr. Dillon. “We have to create a plan for every scenario—that includes remote learning and doing a better job at it, addressing safety and sanitation concerns, and what the new normal will entail.”

The data arguing for in-person instruction cited, “the bond that forms between the teacher and student,” “students struggling academically, emotionally and physically,” “a lack of effort academically has been displayed and our kids are depressed,” and “students are more attentive and responsive when teachers are available to address their thoughts and questions in real-time,” as the top important reasons for in-classroom instruction.