Around 60 percent of CPS students logged into e-learning sites more than twice a week, data shows

Chicago News

(File Photo) Leanne Francis, first grade teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, conducts an online class from her living room on March 20, 2020 in San Francisco, California. With schools closed across the United States due to the COVID19 pandemic, teachers are holding some classes for students online. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — New data released by Chicago Public Schools Wednesday shows that while the vast majority of CPS students have access to remote learning tools, around 60 percent are accessing them more than twice a week.

With schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, CPS formally launched remote learning on April 13. Since then, the majority of students have been using tools developed by Google to take part in lessons, interact with classmates and submit assignments.

As of May 11, CPS reports 93 percent of all students currently have access to digital learning tools. Since these programs have built-in analytics, CPS can use them to track student activity, while schools also gather information on how their students are using e-learning tools.

According to the latest data from the district, which measures student activity during the week of May 11, around 84 percent had at least one assignment graded by a teacher and 85 percent were contacted by their school at least once. Through the district’s remote learning plan, schools are required to make contact with all students at least once each week.

When it comes to logging on to class online, CPS says 77 percent of students used a digital tool at least once, 69 percent used one at least twice and 59 percent did so at least three times throughout the week.

A graph provided by CPS shows the use of digital tools over a week by students

Looking at a grade-by-grade basis, the lowest amount of engagement with the digital tools is among first graders (46 percent), with a steady rise to the fourth grade (82 percent) where the numbers remain steady, but drop off slightly for high-schoolers.

In an official statement announcing the release of the data, CPS acknowledges the rate of participation using the Google tools is lower than typical attendance, and the rate declines when looking at engagement over multiple days.

“While these trends could be due to a variety of factors, including schools using digital tools that are not captured by current district data sources, the district will be refining metrics and engaging schools over the summer to gain insights and inform how it can support schools,” the district said in a statement.

The study also found racial disparities in the use of digital tools among African-American students. About 70 percent of African-American students used one of the tools over the week of May 11, compared to the district average of 77 percent.

The latest data is available online here.

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