Brenham ISD Interim Superintendent Huey Kinchen went over the results of the recently completed survey given to parents and staff, along with concerns from those two groups, in a Facebook address Thursday.
Kinchen said the survey, which concluded last Friday, had an “overwhelming response”, with almost 3,500 parent responses and nearly 500 results from staff members. In addition, Kinchen said there were 126 pages of comments from parents, asking questions and giving their opinions about the opening of schools.
Kinchen pointed out three comments in particular that exemplified the range of opinion displayed by parents on the opening of schools.
For both the parent and staff responses, Kinchen said the top concern was health and safety, while the second highest concern for staff was training and preparation. Ultimately, he said this is what led the district to delay the start of school from August 19th to August 25th.
Kinchen said after meeting with assistant superintendents, principals, and members of the Teacher Advisory Group, one area of concern all three groups had was having enough time to train teachers and staff for the opening of schools. He said in order to provide more time for training, the school start date needed to be pushed back. He said the district chose a four-day delay to allow time for training, but to also minimize the impact on the school calendar.
Kinchen said it was evident after consulting the survey responses that a Frequently Asked Questions page was necessary to not only improve communications, but also help parents decide what form of instruction they want for their child.
Early next week, the district will begin rolling out commitment forms, asking parents whether they want their child to attend school remotely or in person. Kinchen said the commitment forms differ from the survey in that while the district was seeking information from parents to plan for the upcoming school year in the survey, the commitment forms will have parents locking in their choice for instruction for one grading period. He said the district will work to make sure a quality education is provided no matter what choice is made.