Juneau School District launches survey to gather input, plan for ‘more normalized operations’

Florence Young, 5, takes it all in during the first day of in-person classes at Sayéik Gastineau Community School on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)
Florence Young, 5, takes it all in during the first day of in-person classes on Jan. 14 at Sayéik Gastineau Community School in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

The Juneau School District is looking for input from the community as it heads into a new year with fewer pandemic-related challenges.

With the help of a newly-released survey, administrators hope to address concerns from teachers, students and families.

Over the last few months, superintendent Bridget Weiss met with school staff and board members, asking for their thoughts on the challenges and successes of the past school year. 

“We are transitioning from really an emergency situation into a recovery phase, but that is a transition,” Weiss said. “It’s not something where we flip a switch and go from one to the other. It really is a merging into more normalized operations.”

Now, they’ve launched a brief online survey with open-ended questions, so stakeholders in the community can weigh in as well. 

Bridget Weiss is the superintendent of the Juneau School District.
Bridget Weiss is the superintendent of the Juneau School District. (Photo courtesy of Bridget Weiss)

“It could be around instruction, it could be around COVID-related mitigation,” Weiss said. “We really left the door wide open so that people really have an open invitation to share whatever was important to them and not have it be narrowly defined by us.”

Every family in the district received the survey in an email and it’s also available on the JSD website. Once all the data is gathered, school leaders will look for themes and use the input to plan the next year. 

Weiss says they already know schools will be back in session five days a week starting August 16th, but some questions have not been answered like: “What will the mask policy be?” and “How should the district spend its funding from the American Rescue Plan Act?”

“When we look at the recovery dollars that we are receiving,” Weiss said, “are those on mark with where we see the need and with where our community, our families and our staff see the need?”

More than 400 people have already responded to the survey. It will be open to responses for at least another week. 

KTOO wants to hear from you. If you have feedback about the school year and would like to share it, leave us a note here.
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