ATLIS Vitals Check

ATLIS has collected a few vital statistics to let you know where your team and your school are in your response to this crisis compared to other independent schools. The survey ran weekly in the initial COVID-19 response period; future surveys will update the data over longer periods of time. 

Results for April 15, 2020


 Regional definition:

  • Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)

  • Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas)

  • South (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma)

  • West (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii


We asked participants to rank various groups within the school community about how they've handled the transition to virtual operations, with 1 being not prepared/functional at all and 10 being incredibly prepared/functional.


What was your biggest challenge so far in supporting your school making these recent shifts?

  • Evaluating current class meeting schedules. Currently we have replicated the normal schedule...full 45 minute classes. Now in Zoom, everything is going well, but we are surveying students to see how they are feeling about almost 6 hours per day of screen time.
  • Trying to assist students with laptop issues and new installations remotely since they are not admins on their laptops.
  • Hours, the expectation of 24/7 service. Exhausted and stressed.
  • Calmly and kindly responding to faculty who must not have read in detail the information sent out on how to use the virtual tools, but I get it. When your life is all upside down, sometimes what you read doesn't sink in.
  • Supporting Business Office and their ongoing needs remotely. Also keeping infrastructure projects with outside vendors moving along if possible.
  • Scheduling synchronous learning. Asynchronous is easier to schedule with students, especially those with siblings enrolled at our school.
  • Training faculty/staff in distance learning tools. They hadn't had any PD in using tools like PearDeck or Meet, so they've been going from 0 to 100 in a handful of days.
  • The Business Offices were not as prepared and underestimated the impact of a 100% virtual work environment to their day to day operations. We as leaders are still struggling to shift academy priorities and focuses in the current situation, but meetings have resumed to start talks.
  • For our tech department, it's been really hard being on call at most hours of the day because of panicked parents, teachers, and students. Working from home makes this harder because there's no clear delineation between work time and home time the way there is when you leave home to work.
  • Plans keep changing. We were mostly asynchronous at first, and it worked well. Now we are being told we must move to including more synchronous instruction.
  • Consistency. While we have a couple of systems used across the board, some teachers are trying different platforms. Pro: Flexible. Con: Students have to learn all the platforms of each of their teachers!
  • Biggest challenge is that our teachers are getting burnt out. As they've mightily shifted to online teaching, they are also dealing with their own personal lives as many of them are parents to young children. Teaching online, while keeping their family is taking a toll on them. Also, parents have high expectations of online teaching and impacts teachers' willingness to provide high levels of engagement/learning.
  • Keeping control of all the apps that teachers want to use in the classroom. Verifying that there are not hidden privacy policy issues. And making sure that those apps fit well into our infrastructure.
  • Our biggest challenge is trying to put parents at ease during this process. We have a lot of anxiety and apprehension coming from our parents.
  • Having to do it so quickly. Not knowing when it will end.
  • We are technically on spring break, so our focus thus far has been on getting operational staff and administrators situated at home. Faculty will meet virtually Monday, to plan for resuming school next week. Remains to be seen how that will go, for all involved.

  • Parents adjusting to the shift.

  • 1) Making sure our middle school students have necessary technical infrastructure at home to learn remotely 2) creating a revised schedule to support virtual learning.

  • Training teachers how to teach virtually.

  • The teacher and student communication has been tough. Students are hiding from communication and parents are not following up very quickly. The teachers are working hard in their own spaces, but not shifted to communicating very well with each other. The sharing portion on online learning has been tough.

  • The turn around to go to virtual learning had to happen much faster than we originally thought. But, we did it and are rolling! It's been pretty amazing.

  • Many faculty do not have local administrator privilege so installing software was a challenge.

  • We were in transition to a new LMS, so supporting academics without a centralized platform has been the trickiest part. We've streamlined what we can, but there are still rogue teachers.

  • Short term (next two weeks) we are good with our current home learning plan. My concern is long term, how can we sustain this and make it meaningful for a PreK-8 school?


Check back next week for updated results over time. ATLIS's Coronavirus Clearinghouse has a wealth of resources to navigate the pandemic.