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Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers revealed in a union survey sent to administrators Tuesday that they had serious reservations about students and teachers returning to school buildings together again.

The Oklahoma City AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Local 2309 just completed their annual fall survey of member teachers in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Free Press obtained a copy of the finished survey from the OKC-AFT that was sent to administrators, Board of Education members, and member teachers Tuesday afternoon. It is embedded below.

The survey was sent to the district as Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers prepare for the new blended learning schedule to begin Monday, October 19 and the first group of students come into the buildings on an A/B schedule the next day.

Against return

President Torie Shoecraft told Free Press that the most dramatic and striking parts of the survey this year were in question number 13 that asked, “Do you have any concerns you would like to share?”

Since the survey was taking place just as the district administration was making plans to start returning the youngest students first back to the classroom, the possibility of teachers and students giving the coronavirus to each other.

More so than any other school personnel, classroom teachers know from repeated experience just how contagious in-person teaching can be.

Rather than reveal the comments which could give administrators a sense who who might have written the responses, Shoecraft and AFT staff summed up what they read in the survey comments.

Here’s the summation taken directly from the survey results released:

  1. The majority of teachers had reservations or were totally against going back to school with students in the building.
  2. Teachers wanted to know how the buildings would be cleaned in the future or shared that their facilities were not presently being thoroughly cleaned.
  3. Teachers reported that many colleges were not wearing masks, and follow-through for not following the rules was not happening.
  4. Many teachers wanted to know why district leaders have decided not to follow the safety plan they created and presented to the board from the beginning of the school year.
  5. You shared the entire teaching process has been more time-consuming, and you are more stressed and tired than ever before.
  6. Issues with contact tracing were by far the most commented-on subject. You felt this was not being done with fidelity, and many of you were worried about more problems arising when students return.

Multiple-choice questions

This year the questions where teachers were asked to make choices were mostly focused on the district’s response to the pandemic.

There were notable questions because of teachers’ responses.

The first one showed anxiety on teachers’ part about not enough preparation time alternating between in-person and online teaching. About 37% of the responses were that they “rarely” or “never” felt like they had enough preparation time.

And then, the second question asked about teachers’ stress levels right now as yet another big challenge arises with doing both virtual online education and in-person education get blended together.

On that question 33.84% marked “highest,” 44.90% marked “high” and 18.87% marked “moderate.” Only 4.12% marked the question “low.”

When teachers were asked to gauge how comfortable they were with students returning to the classroom, almost 60% marked that they were “not so comfortable” or “not at all comfortable.”

Bright spots in the survey showed that teachers felt they were well aware of of COVID-19 protocals for exposure and testing positive for COVID-19.

The survey

This is the survey sent to teachers, Board members and administrators Tuesday:


Last Updated October 14, 2020, 8:43 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor