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Parent School Climate Survey Results and Analysis November 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent School Climate Survey Results and Analysis November 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent School Climate Survey Results and Analysis November 2010

2 Overview Parents were invited to provide feedback about the education climate in the schools to the Swampscott Public Schools District via a public-access survey from November 8 to 23, Access to the survey was provided via links on the school district website. Parents were instructed to complete one survey for the school their oldest child attends. Elements of the school climate that were addressed on the survey included: Overall Assessment of Education Quality Academic Preparation Student Support School Leadership Parent Engagement Safety and Behavior School Operations Most survey items were assessed on the four-point scale Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Agree, and Strongly Agree. Respondents could also select the option Don’t Know. Data are summarized as the percent of respondents selecting Strongly Agree or Agree. The following slides provide an overview of findings followed by a detailed summary of the data.

3 Executive Summary of Findings Overall, parents believe that Swampscott Public Schools is doing a good job of educating their children. Parents provided a favorable assessment of the quality of their child’s schools, with 79% assigning grades of “A” or “B.” Most parents indicate that: Principals make decisions that are in the best interest of their child. Students are being prepared to do well at the next grade level. There is good support at school. The schools provide a welcoming environment. Parents are kept informed about grades.

4 Executive Summary of Findings Parents note a number of opportunities for improvement, which Swampscott staff has noted and are working to find solutions. Foremost among these are issues concerning communications: The following pages provide detailed descriptions of the survey data.  Providing parents more useful information about how to help their child.  Providing feedback on assignments and exams that helps children to learn.  Keeping parents informed about what their child is learning and about activities at school.

5 Who Responded? A total of 399 parent surveys were completed, representing an estimated 31% response rate. * This level of response among parents exceeds expectations for first survey administrations. This rate suggests that the responding parents included those who are highly engaged in the schools in addition to some less- involved parents. Over time with systematic engagement, survey participation will increase further and respondents will become increasingly representative of parents in general. * The response rate is estimated from the number of parent responses (399), the total number of students enrolled in the district (2,278), and the estimated number of students per family (1.8 as computed from this survey sample and verified by US Census figures).

6 Overall Assessment of Education Quality Parents provided an overall favorable assessment of the education that the schools are providing with 79% assigning a grade of “A” or “B.” These responses reflect the general national trends that parents hold favorable views of the schools that their child attends.

7 Academic Preparation While most parents believe that their child is being prepared to do well, only about half of the parents say that teachers give them useful information about how to help their child. Many parents (15%, not reflected on graph) indicated that they did not know if the feedback teachers give on tests or homework helps their child to learn.

8 Student Support Most parents indicate that there is good support for their children at the school. As many as 15% of parents (not reflected on graph) said they did not know if there is a staff member at school that their child can go to for help with a problem or did not know if students are treated fairly regardless of their backgrounds.

9 School Leadership Three-quarters of parents believe that the school principal makes decisions in the best interest of students. One-third of parents (36%) had a concern to discuss with the principal or assistant principal; of these individuals, most reported the administrator to be available, courteous, and professional. When I have had an issue or a concern to discuss with the principal or assistant principal….

10 Parent Engagement Most parents say they feel welcome at their child’s school and are kept informed about their child’s grades. Fewer parents say they are kept informed about what their child is learning in school and about school activities. Few parents said they are aware that the facilities at their child’s school are available for their use.

11 Safety and Behavior Nearly all parents believe that their child is safe at school. Parents are less sure about whether students threaten or bully each other or whether alcohol and drug use is a problem at school with more than 25% stating that they did not know. This finding highlights the need for the schools to communicate with parents about student behavior.

12 School Operations Parents tended to be unsure about issues pertaining to the cafeteria services. As many as 25% said they did not know if healthy food is served in the cafeteria, 17% said they did not know if the school lunch price is fair, and 12% did not know if their child gets enough to eat at school.

13 Open-Ended Responses A total of 229 parents provided additional insight as to what the school can do to get a better grade next year. The most common themes cited were: Number of Times Cited Provide more challenging opportunities for students50 Improve communication between school and home34 Provide more individualized instruction/help for students25 Provide a more challenging science curriculum and instruction22 Teacher certification and accountability17 Provide a more challenging math curriculum and instruction16 Greater variety of course offerings/topics taught15 More emphasis on literacy/reading/writing14 More instructional time by reducing number of holidays, half-days, and providing longer school days11 Reduce focus on MCAS preparation10

14 Open-Ended Responses A total of 202 parents provided additional comments. The most common themes cited were: Number of Times Cited Positive comments about school in general or specific teachers & staff72 Increase variety of course offerings, particularly in Art, Music, Foreign Languages, Math, Science, and Technology26 Improve student behavior monitoring/enforcement, bullying prevention21 More frequent and informative communication between school and home20 Improve maintenance and cleanliness of facilities.16 More creativity in teaching; stimulate student interests in school14 Provide a more challenging curriculum12 More support/encouragement of students from teachers10 More flexible parent-teacher meeting times10

15 Summary A major finding from this survey is that the parents desire greater transparency in school operations. Improving communications and outreach to parents is a top priority for Swampscott Public Schools. A number of actions have been undertaken to move in this direction:  Monthly school building updates are posted on the District Website.  Monthly Superintendent Bulletin provides updates to the community concerning current events at the schools.  The curriculum for all grade levels is posted on the District Website.  Superintendent Celli has attended PTA meetings, Rotary Club meetings, Board of Selectmen meetings to inform the community of the district goals and to share the action plan.  School Committee meetings are taped and broadcast on cable television.


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