The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Middle and High School Parents Weigh in on Distance Learning

As a follow-up to our initial article about distance learning at TASIS, which discussed the results of surveys sent to Elementary School parents and Middle and High School students, we would like to turn our attention to the surveys that were sent to Middle and High School parents at the end of week one. Thank you to all parents for their positive and constructive feedback!

High School

Agree or Disagree?
We asked High School parents to rate the following statements on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree.” The 100 responses yielded the following results:

Our child has been able to complete his or her work in the recommended amount of time.

Our child was able to complete his or her work independently.

Teacher directions were clear and easy to follow.

Resources were easy to access.

It was easy to get feedback from the teachers.

Positive Comments
High School parents were also asked to comment on one thing they like about distance learning. Below are some of their responses.

“This is an excellent initiative and is well-managed. It is good to keep the kids busy with online meetings and extra assignments in these circumstances.”
“There are more opportunities to manage time independently.”
“Students can repeat a class video if something was not understood.”
“I would like to thank the school for the organization of distance learning, and I would like to thank all the teachers that take the time to communicate with the kids as often as possible.”
“Being at home allows for more independent work than being in a classroom.”
“Students become more organized and caring toward their work.”
“Students can contact their teachers at any time.”
“This is an opportunity to learn a new educational format.”
“It’s great to get the assignments early by email and then have the teacher available during class time to answer questions. Thanks for getting this done so quickly without any major problems!”
“I like seeing my kids progress independently.”
“There is more time to research and work independently”
“Students get to experience this new way of learning, self-discipline, self-organization.”
“I get to see my kids learning first-hand.”
“My child is at home and safe.”
“My daughter and I both agree on the efficiency of Zoom for live lessons.”
“The organization and the preparation of the teaching is impressive and supports student learning.”
“I’ve been impressed by the level of communication from teachers.”
“Students can continue to interact with their teachers and classmates.”
“My daughter can learn at her own pace when the teachers send her the lesson and notes for class time.”
“Simply being able to continue with their classes is a victory in my eyes.”
“Zoom provides a very realistic classroom environment.”
“Although students are not able to physically meet with teachers at the moment, they can continuously learn with no difficulties.”
“They have to work more independently and focus on the skills they have to improve.”
“I like that the teachers are always available to meet with the students and that students can work independently if needed.”
“I’m thankful that my child has the opportunity to study online and not miss any material.”
“The teachers are there when my child needs to ask questions.”
“They can stay on track with school.”
“The student is more relaxed because he has more time to organize himself.”
“I appreciate being able to have my daughter next to me.”
“It is important that all teachers maintain contact with their students as much as possible.”
“I like hearing the classes.”
“My son keeps learning and this period is not wasted.”
“The best thing about distance learning is that you can manage your time.”
“There is more flexibility and more time for rest.”
“I like being at home with my child.”
“My daughter gets enough time to relax and is not so stressed as she usually is.”
“The days are shorter, but the classes are more concentrated.”
“I appreciate the possibility to see and support my child every day.”
“Being at home provides a quiet environment for learning and high concentration.”
“I like it when teachers stick to the normal timetable and start class with Zoom. It’s very helpful in a time of isolation to have regular contact with teachers and fellow students.”
“They can stay updated and follow the program even if the school is closed.”
“My son spends less time waiting for other people to catch up in the classes he excels at.”


Middle School

Agree or Disagree?
We asked Middle School parents to rate the following statements on a scale of 1–5 (again with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree”). The 32 responses produced these results:

My child has been able to connect online (and face-to-face) with all of his or her teachers.

My child has been able to follow his or her teachers' instructions.

My child has been able to complete his or her work independently.

Online resources have been easy to access.

My child has been given feedback from his or her teachers regarding his or her learning.

With this program, my child has continued to progress academically in each subject.

Positive Comments
Middle School parents were also asked to elaborate on what they believe has worked well with distance learning so far. Below is a collection of their responses.

“I am extremely happy with the way the Middle School has managed distance learning. The teachers have been phenomenal. They are assigning more homework, which keeps the students busy now that they no longer have after-school activities. My student is basically following his daily schedule with classes over Zoom, which helps him structure his day. The consistency is important, and this is where the teachers have really been outstanding.”
“It is clear the faculty has worked very hard to prepare for distance learning and continues to work very hard. Classes start on time, and teachers are available to help (in some cases even helping during off-hours). I have seen various forms of teaching methods being used as well...The impression I am left with at the end of this first week is that the teachers care about their students and they are working hard to ensure that the students continue to learn while everyone (adults and children) adjusts to distance learning.”
“My child has been able to connect with all of her teachers if she needed to ask them a question or she didn’t understand something. All apps worked well and she was able to hand in her assignments without any problems.”
“Teachers are available for support and Zoom is a great tool.”
“The daily personal organization of the students has improved.”
“Meetings with teachers have worked great on all the platforms.”
“It works well that they need to follow their schedule, especially when they are expected to be present for the Zoom classroom.”
“Naturally, the technology and the ability to use it have worked well so far...Since some of the teachers are in different time zones, it is not possible to have regular lessons, but videos and sites like Khan Academy have been recommended. In addition, our daughter is resourceful and can look up information for herself.”
“Students are able to stay on track with all the subjects.”
“I think that it is good when children can see and hear each other. The dialogue makes the learning process more efficient.”
“My daughter has learned to be even more disciplined and work more independently.”
“My daughter is trying to organize herself by herself, so in my opinion that’s good.”
“The personal face-to-face meetings with teachers have been great.”
“Three things I’ve liked: 1) Sticking to a normal schedule has helped in the transition. 2) Having lessons through video conference is key, as it helps to maintain a sense of group/class. 3) All students are on time and committed.”
“Surely the students have learned very quickly how to be independent with studying, homework, and organization.”
“My daughter has understood for the most part how to implement what the teacher is asking the class to do.”
“The teachers are organized.”



A Work in Progress

Both High School and Middle School parents also had the opportunity to comment on what they have found challenging about distance learning so far and make suggestions for improvement. Please know that our academic leaders are carefully reviewing this constructive feedback as part of their ongoing efforts to fine-tune the TASIS Distance Learning Program.

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