Shorewood School District Survey Results Show Staff Engagement & Community Satisfaction, Help Guide District's Direction
The Shorewood School District recently conducted an extensive community-wide survey that was shared with parents, students, staff, and community members with the help of School Perceptions, an independent research firm that specializes in conducting surveys for public and private schools. The survey, which stemmed from the District's 2016-17 Strategic Plan and was distributed to participants last May, measured satisfaction levels and gained insights into perspectives among District stakeholders across key areas. Following the survey completion, School Perceptions worked with District staff to help analyze the survey results data to identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement, as well as emergent themes to help guide the District's top priorities.
Notable survey findings include the following:
The results of the staff survey noted that staff engagement was very high and significantly above average, compared with other school districts surveyed by School Perceptions. When asked whether their work contributes to the success of the District, an overwhelming majority of respondents (98%) said they "strongly agree" or "agree." When asked whether the District has a culture of open dialogue, 88% said they "strongly agree" or "agree." An overwhelming majority (95%) of staff said they would recommend this District to others seeking employment, and 93% agreed or strongly agreed that "The District is heading in the right direction."
Parent and Community Satisfaction
An overwhelming majority of parent and community member respondents (86%) were either "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" overall with the Shorewood School District. Additionally, 88% of all respondents said they either "Agree" or "Strongly Agree" that the District is heading in the right direction. Lastly, 80% indicated they are satisfied with communication that comes from the District.
Student Extracurricular Engagement
The results of the student survey noted that student extracurricular involvement is above the average for comparable districts (3.33 vs. 3.19 out of 4). A majority (79%) of Shorewood students surveyed participate in one or more clubs, sports, and activities, and 81% find clubs, sports, or activities that interest them.
Engaging and Retaining Staff
Results from both the parent/community survey and the staff survey showed that attracting, engaging, and retaining quality staff was the top area that the District should focus its resources on. To address this community and staff priority, the District will host the annual CESA Teacher Recruitment Fair in hopes of recruiting and attracting talented and diverse staff to Shorewood.
Modernize and Maintain Facilities
The results of the parent/community survey and the staff survey revealed that the lowest ranked item in the Achieving Excellence section under "How are we doing?" was Maintaining and Modernizing Facilities, with the District scoring an average score of 2.32 out of 4 on the parent/community survey, and a 1.88 out of 4 on the staff survey (1=poor, 4=great). To address this community and staff concern, the District is currently crafting a facilities masterplan with input from staff and community members, which will determine how to approach modernizing and maintaining the District's many historic buildings.
Results from both the parent/community survey and staff survey revealed that developing innovative programs to improve student learning were among the top five priority areas the District should focus its resources on. Additionally, in the parent/community survey, two other top five priority areas included increasing the number of hands-on/project-based authentic learning opportunities and better preparing students for life after high school—college or career. According to parents, preparing students for life after high school revealed one of the biggest gaps between importance and performance (-1.00). To address this community priority, the District will continue the implementation of Expeditionary Learning in both elementary schools, with student expeditions occurring at every grade level, expand Project Lead the Way to all 7th and 8th graders and offer a new PLTW course at SHS, and seek opportunities with partners to provide professional development to our 7th-12th grade staff in order to offer our students more authentic learning experiences to prepare them for future success.
Responses from parents in the School Feedback section agreeing or strongly agreeing that "Technology is used effectively to support teaching and learning" were slightly lower than parent responses on the same statement from other comparable schools. To address this need, the District has hired a new Technology Director with comprehensive experience as an educator and instructional technology specialist who will work to develop and implement a new District technology plan to provide optimal support teaching and learning.
Confidence in District Leadership
The survey results also showed confidence in District leadership. A majority of staff respondents (92%) agreed or strongly agreed that they "trust the District's leadership," while 90% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that the "District administration is doing what it takes to make our District successful." An overwhelming majority (98%) of staff respondents indicated that "The Superintendent/District Administrator presents a positive image to our community." A majority of parent/community respondents (82%) agreed or strongly agreed that "The District is run effectively."
Overall, the results from the survey data were positive and indicate that most respondents believe the District is heading in the right direction. The District will continue to address areas needing improvement by executing action plans targeting these areas of concern in the year ahead.
For a more in-depth look at the survey results, click here.