The majority of students, parents and teachers in the Long Beach Unified School District did not like the digital learning experience rolled out quickly last spring after in-person classes were halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey, taken at the close of the school year in June, showed:

  • 43% of students were not satisfied with the digital learning; 26% were satisfied.
  • 40% of parents were not satisfied; 27% were satisfied.
  • When asked about classes for the fall, 59% of parents said they wanted to classes to resume as normal, while 36% want an in-person/online hybrid and 27% want all online learning.

One of the reasons the LBUSD was slower than the LAUSD and other districts in shutting campuses down in March was the knowledge that many families rely on the district for both meals and childcare. The district adjusted to continue to provide the services it could, and distributed more than 800,000 free meals from the March 13 shutdown until the end of the school year.

But not much could be done about childcare. A quarter of students in grade 6-11 said they had “little or no adult supervision” throughout the weekdays. Teachers reported that number as closer to one in three of their students.

The childcare issue affected teachers as well. When teachers were asked what the frequent challenges they faced were, the most frequent response was “caring for my own children,” with 35% of respondents checking that box. Twenty-one percent of teachers also said “no quiet place to work” was a frequent challenge.

Another concern for teachers and parents is the socialization that students receive from attending school with other kids their age. While 50% of students said they had live interaction with their teachers “daily or frequently,” the numbers surrounding socialization were dramatically worse. One in five students responded that they “almost never” talked to classmates.

On the question of “frequent challenges,” 42% of students reported regularly feeling unmotivated, while 33% were dealing with caring for a sibling, 30% had no quiet place to work, and 17% had internet issues. A total of 820 students, or 5% of those who responded, said that working a job to help support their family interfered with digital learning.

“The data has been used to inform next steps,” said Jill Baker, who will take over as LBUSD superintendent on Aug. 1. “We’re holding Re-Opening Advisory Committees at the elementary, middle, and high school level with teachers, parents, and students, which will continue through July.”

Based on responses from the survey, the District has announced it will re-open Family Resource Centers at Poly, Cabrillo, Jordan, and Millikan from June 22-July 24, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on weekdays. The FRCs will offer counseling, job referral, and training programs for families who need them.