Religious Schools Report that Online Learning is Going Well
Behrman House asked educators about what their school programs look like today, and how they have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The snapshot survey was conducted April 30-May 4, and 50 schools from various U.S. regions responded. Here are the results:
The preponderance of congregational schools are currently holding online group classes because of the pandemic and building closures.
About 95% of respondents say that all or most of their grades are meeting weekly. Some educators said they have continued to hold twice-weekly synchronous (live) sessions with their students, adhering to the same schedule as pre-pandemic times. About 5% said they are not holding group classes, and just doing individual online Hebrew tutoring sessions.
More than three-quarters report that online learning is going very well.
About 48% of respondents report that after some initial hiccups, their programs are now operating pretty well. Another 30% rate their online program as "great" and that attendance is up and students are more engaged than usual. Not one respondent said that online learning has been a disaster.
Most schools are holding school-wide t'filah.
Many are also offering other school-wide programming, such as for Yom Ha'atzma'ut.
Most schools are not extending their school year beyond the original number of scheduled sessions.
Fewer than 10% say they have added dates or are planning to. A few respondents also plan to offer occasional school-wide activities led by administrators.
Schools are evenly split on whether they will offer summer programming or learning.
About 45% of respondents say they are likely to hold some kind of summer actvities, and some have already begun that planning in earnest. One educator said their families are already overwhelmed with online everything, and the school will continue with weekly t'filah. Another said they will not offer formal learning programs, but rather "pop-up chugim that have Jewish learning components (kahoots, games, book clubs)."
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