Jan 21, 2021

Over 200 stakeholders from across Louisiana share feedback with LDOE

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The levels of trust among stakeholders is high, school systems have made extensive efforts to support student well-being and broadband access and student engagement remain concerns. That is some of the feedback the Louisiana Department of Education received from over 200 stakeholders from across the state during focus groups conducted recently.

“Improving outcomes for all Louisiana children is important work that’s too important to do alone,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “These focus groups are one of the ways we’re engaging stakeholders to understand what’s working, what’s not and where our support and investment is most needed.”

LDOE partnered with Westat to conduct focus groups with stakeholders across the state in November and December 2020. The information was synthesized into a report with the Department’s previously scheduled Strong Start Winter Survey.

Westat collected data to understand the experiences of Louisiana students and educators. Combined with the Department’s additional outreach efforts, the data will help inform decisions about school system supports, lessons learned and needed improvements.

Key Strengths and Successes Based on Stakeholder Feedback from Westat Focus Groups
  • School systems and educators have been flexible and adapted to address learning loss through use of individual instruction/support, additional intervention time and increased small group instruction.

  • School systems have quickly provided technology to students and families. Teachers have adopted and learned a variety of tech-based teaching supports.

  • Communication from LDOE, school systems and schools have been effective. Transparency and the levels of trust among stakeholders is high.

  • School systems and educators have made extensive efforts to support student mental health and well-being both personally and through SEL curricula and community services.

Key Growth Opportunities Based on Stakeholder Feedback from Westat Focus Groups
  • Transition between learning modes causes disruption of learning, stress and mental-health concerns.

  • In general, student engagement is a concern. Not all students learn successfully in virtual environments, particularly students with disabilities, EL students, early childhood learners and those who are often truant or absent.

  • Ongoing concerns with accountability plans given likely learning loss that is beyond the control of school systems and families.

  • Access to technology and broadband required for successful virtual learning is not consistent for all students.

There were 216 stakeholders from across the state who participated in the focus groups. This included students, parents, teachers, school leaders and school system leaders.

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