• May 28, 2020

ECISD wants remote feedback - Odessa American: ECISD

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ECISD wants remote feedback

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020 3:21 pm

Schools have been closed since March 16 and went online March 23. As of Wednesday, ECISD had just finished day 3.

“We want to make that the very best experience it can be for every kid and every family and one way — really the best way — for us to improve is to get feedback and so I encourage our students and our parents and grandparents and guardians, those that are working with our kids to give us some feedback. What’s working really well? What do you like, and then what’s not working as well for you and then how can we improve? Our job is to take that feedback and continue to do the good things and then improve upon the things that aren’t working so well, so it’s all about feedback and we want that,” ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri said in a phone interview Wednesday evening.

Parents, guardians and students can give feedback to teachers and they can submit it to the school for ECISD to consider and then it will be sent to the administrator.

“If you don’t have direct contact with your child’s teacher, then you can submit that to your child’s school but we’re aggressively seeking feedback,” Muri said.

Teachers are staying in regular contact with students, whether it’s by phone, email or video conferencing so the feedback can be pretty fast. Muri said the district is getting feedback from employees, but it’s those that are supporting the students directly that officials want to hear from.

“They’re discovering what’s working and what isn’t and we’ve gotten feedback directly from the teachers about their experience, so our employees are giving us feedback so that we can make improvements for them. But our parents and guardians and those that are supporting our kids” those are the people Muri said ECISD wants to hear from.

“We’ve asked our parents and others to serve as teachers and that’s enormously difficult and so we just want to be as helpful as we can to make this a great experience for our kids,” Muri added.

So far, most of the feedback has been that students want to come back to school, he said.

“It depends on the kid and their experience, (but) just in talking to some of our teachers the kids really like hearing the voice of the teacher, or seeing the teacher on video, or connecting with the teacher through email or text or whatever communication mode they’re using. That’s been pretty powerful is just to reconnect because we had spring break and then we were kind of silent as we were working this for a week, so it’s been a couple of weeks since most of our kids have spoken with a teacher. They’ve really appreciated getting reconnected and developing a sense of normalcy, so they’re back to work,” Muri said.

The district also has launched a helpline for any student or family dealing with stress, trauma, grief or struggling with mental health concerns. The number is 456-HELP or 456-4357.

Started March 25, it runs from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with PermiaCare picking up the off hours.

“It’s staffed by our ECISD counselors, and again, we are talking to kids and families that are dealing with the stress and the trauma of our current reality and we have that situation all over our community so we’re excited to be able to offer that,” Muri said.

“One of the things we know based upon research is that when we are out of school in America, when schools shut down, child abuse increases exponentially. We want to make sure that our kids also have an outlet, and should the stress and pressure of today’s environment be a bit overwhelming for our families, we want to make sure that our kids have an outlet — someone that they can talk to and share information with should their environment become unhealthy for some reason,” he added.

This also is an opportunity for parents to speak to someone.

“… We’ve asked our parents to take on another responsibility in the teaching of their children, so we’ve added to the stress that the families are experiencing right now and we want to help our parents deal with all that is happening in life to the very best of our ability,” Muri said.

On a separate item, Muri said ECISD is going to start offering child care for the medical community from Medical Center Hospital and Odessa Regional Medical Center starting this coming week.

“We’ve already contacted both hospitals and they’re gathering data for us on how many kids we could potentially be serving and we will open that facility next week. We’re happy to be able to do that. Zavala Elementary will be the location of that service and we’re just working diligently to get that stood up and support our medical community,” Muri said.

“They’re getting ready to deal with a pretty monumental task and we need as many doctors and nurses and technicians on duty as we can and one way that we can contribute to that is by taking care of their children. That’s our area of expertise. That’s something that we know how to do well and we want to be able to provide that service for our medical community, so we’re honored to be able to support them in that way,” he added.

He hopes the daycare will be open early in the week.

“We’ve got to collect some data from the hospitals to get a gauge on exactly how many children that we’ll be serving. We’ll serve children from birth to the age of 10. That’s how we’ll start and then if we need to grow and expand … we will be looking to do that, as well,” Muri said.

Depending on the number of children served for the healthcare community, Muri said ECISD would like to expand the daycare to first responders.

“We know we have a lot of police, fire and rescue that would also need that service because their capacity to serve is going to be taxed over the next several weeks and months. We want to make sure that they’re ready and when our community needs them, that they’re able to respond and we’re able to take care of their children. … Beyond that, our expansion will really rely on the mayor and the county judge to identify some priority areas. What does our city need? What type of workers do we need in order to continue to operate in a healthy manner as a city? Then again, if we have space available we’d like to be able to work with our city and county government in identifying some other areas that may need some support. So again, we’ll work with our mayor and our county judge about those priorities,” Muri said.

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