Most of the parent survey was choice rankings in a variety of areas. We spent most of Thursday's meetings exploring the trends in all of those areas, but we were also provided with a list of parent's open ended responses about the district's strengths and suggestions for improvement.
In the question about our strengths, parents, thankfully, Relationships with teachers & staff sat first on the list, widely outscoring all other responses. Also at the top of the list were the following:
- Diversity of student opportunities
- Communication/relationship with parents
- Current technology
Those are some great areas to see positive comments!
On the other end of the spectrum, parents suggested that we continue to work on the following:
- Better communication
- Teachers/staff need to improve
- Student access to help and resources
- Improved academic standards & challenges
- Equity and consistency in schools
- Time management
We understand that these responses are pretty open to interpretation, and we can only guess at what each parent may have meant, but at least the district has a base from which to build. It is always interesting to see the same high responses at both ends of the scale, such as Communication, with high numbers perceiving communication as being our strength and others believing it needs to improve. At any rate, it is food for thought as we find ourselves in a district that is no longer being forced into someone else's pattern; the current prevailing attitude is one in which teachers on the front lines make informed decisions - based on individual student and classroom needs and strengths - and find and offer creative solutions.