Tim Winter is the superintendent of the South Kitsap School District. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Tim Winter is the superintendent of the South Kitsap School District. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Second SKSD back-to-school survey is happening amid rising COVID-19 cases

First survey: Many parents, staff were comfortable with students returning to classroom

By Mike De Felice

Special to Kitsap Daily News

PORT ORCHARD – South Kitsap school officials this week are surveying parents and staff to see how they are comfortable they feel about the upcoming school year.

A similar survey was concluded in June but a second survey is being conducted due to the changing landscape surrounding COVID-19 with increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in Kitsap County, across the state and nationally, South Kitsap School District Superintendent Tim Winter told school board members at a meeting last week.

In the first survey, more than 76 percent of parents surveyed said if public health officials believe it is safe to allow in-person instruction, they would be “mostly” or “completely” comfortable having their child return to school in fall.

Parents were also asked what factors would make them feel more comfortable about their children returning to the classroom. Respondents were given a list of factors and asked to check each one that applied.

Nearly 75 percent indicated such factors include – having classrooms and gathering areas cleaned and sanitized daily and having sanitizing supplies, including hand sanitizer, readily available.

The next most popular factors included requiring symptom checks of staff before entering work (49.46 percent) and mandatory health checks of students before entering the school (43.61 percent). Social distancing was listed as a factor by 31.78 percent of those responding.

Parents were also asked about masks.

Most did not feel the mandatory wearing of masks on students and staff increased their comfort level of kids returning to school.

There were similar responses in both instances. Requiring masks on students drew yes 29.36 percent by respondents and no by 54.10 percent. Having masks on staff resulted in a yes by 29.84 percent and no by 48.61 percent.

The confidential survey was completed by more than 2,100 families by the South Kitsap School District, Winter said.

In the staff survey, employees were asked about their feelings of returning to school in the fall.

More than 69 percent were comfortable returning to schools or their workplace on a normal schedule either “with concerns” or “with no concerns.” Nearly 11 percent indicated they were not comfortable returning to the work.

The survey also asked what factors would help make them feel more comfortable returning to work. Cleanliness was the main concern.

Having cleaning and sanitizing supplies, including hand sanitizer, readily available to all employees, was listed by 74.82 percent. Having workspaces cleaned and sanitized daily was indicated by 71.34 percent of respondents.

Staff members were also asked if wearing masks by staff and students would increase their comfort level. More than 45 percent responded affirmatively while 33.92 percent replied negatively. Nearly 21 percent had no opinion.

Some concerns school staff had about coming back to work included not having classrooms and offices properly disinfected, public health regulations not being followed and the availability of disinfecting materials or PPE (personal protection equipment).

The staff survey included 904 respondents, including teachers, support staff, custodial, food service and bus drivers.

More in News

.
Port Orchard restaurant at in-dining standoff with state over COVID restrictions

State attorney general seeking temporary restraining order against That One Place

Blank Unemployment Benefits form
Initial jobless claims fall 8.4%

Initial unemployment claims fell during the first full week of January, but… Continue reading

.
State prepping to move to next phase of vaccination

The state is preparing to open up the COVID-19 vaccine to the… Continue reading

.
55 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap County

12 in N. Kitsap, which now has 802 since March

craig smith
Firehouse Theater seeks alternatives to stay afloat

Like so many theaters nationwide, Kingston’s Firehouse Theater is fighting for its… Continue reading

Suquamish Logo
Local tribes condemn attack on nation’s capitol

The Suquamish and S’Klallam Tribes have put out a joint statement denouncing… Continue reading

The Puyallup completes its Wednesday morning run from Seattle to Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review
Pandemic causes ferry ridership to sink 41%

With more folks working from home and domestic and international travel dropping… Continue reading

.
No-contact advisory from BI to Kingston after sewage spills

More sewage overflow spills - these two in King County - are… Continue reading

.
City, Putaansuu leveraging COVID-era technologies to improve services, save dollars

Could City Hall chambers space be better utilized? Mayor is considering options

Most Read