Tulare students struggled in 2020

Numbers are down across the board in a social-emotional survey conducted by the city school district

TULARE – The ongoing pandemic has had an effect on all students around the country, and now students in Tulare have let their voices be heard.

The Tulare City School District conducted their annual social-emotional survey with students in grades 3 to 8, and numbers are down throughout most of the categories.

In October, 88.6% of students took the survey and the results were presented to the school board at the Dec. 15 meeting. The information helps the board to determine where they need to focus attention based on what students are feeling.

The first part of the survey asked students about their social-emotional wellbeing. The questions were divided up between five sections: growth mindset, social awareness, self-management, self-efficacy, and student relationships. The data showed that students have struggled dealing with distance learning, lack of sports, and other effects of the ongoing pandemic.

“Nothing is normal about this school year. It is not surprising that the student’s favorable responses are down. The challenge is how to meet the varied needs of our students in this virtual environment,” assistant superintendent of student services Paula Adair said in an email to The Sun-Gazette.

The student relationships section was a new set of questions added this year to gain a deeper understanding of students’ emotional wellbeing during this time. Adair deems the results were pretty positive, considering the circumstances.

“Teachers are working diligently to reach out and build strong relationships through the various platforms they have available to them,” she said.

The second part of the survey focused on school climate and was completed by 86.5% of students. A lot of the questions focused on sense of belonging/school connectedness. Favorable responses were down here as well with a 23% decrease for the question, “Do you feel close to people at school?”

Each school site leadership team will review the data with staff to look for areas of growth and areas in need of improvement. They will then determine what their action steps should be and make a plan to implement changes.

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