This graph is one example of many shared in the recent results from the May climate survey that went to all families and staff district wide.
The Verona Area School District (VASD) unveiled its annual climate survey at the end of the 2015-2016 school year, asking staff and families to respond on a variety of questions. Approximately half of district staff took part while nearly 1,400 family members responded. The district was seeking input on topics ranging from how individuals want to receive school information to having each school in the district ranked on nearly 30 topic areas addressed in more than 100 specific questions. This survey also allowed VASD to work with a survey administration company to compare results with other school districts similar in size.
See Family results PowerPoint presentation given to the Board of Education
(due to size, this may take a couple minutes to download)
See Staff results PowerPoint presentation given to the Board of Education
In August, the district administrative team, consisting of each school’s principals/directors and central office administrators, met for a two-day retreat to focus on continuous school improvement planning. Administration walked through each school’s survey responses to identify major themes and to develop a structure for using this data, and other sources of data such as achievement data, in their continuous improvement planning.
Dean Gorrell, superintendent of the Verona Area School District shared, “I want to thank all the staff and families who took the time to respond to the survey. From the Board to the individual sites, this data along with achievement, demographic and process data will be utilized in developing goals and strategies to advance our mission of every student succeeding.”
Overall the results showed that 87% of family survey respondents agree that the district offers a high quality academic program. Of the staff respondents, another 87% agree their job is personally satisfying. Excitingly, the district is making the move to provide an IPad to EVERY student during the 2016-2017 school year, and 90% of staff felt satisfied and supported in the district technology plan.
“One major issue we recognize is the desire to increase participation for a more diverse perspective,” added Gorrell. “We continuously work to improve our communications to our diverse family population.”
On the improvement side, family feedback shared an overall theme that there was a need to focus more on preparing students for life after high school and college or career readiness. Also noted was both the staff and family respondents’ desire for additional support and social work services for struggling students.
To address these two overlying themes for improvement, the Board of Education’s approval in 2013 of creating a personalized learning plan for every child is targeted to support each child in their post-secondary goals and aspirations. Secondly, the District recently unveiled its Equity Framework, designed to ensure that equity exists in all aspects of a student’s education experience in the school district. These two initiatives will point directly to the district’s mission statement: “EVERY Student Must be Successful.”
“We certainly want to make sure our staff values their role with the Verona Area School District,” said Board of Education president Denny Beres. “The students’ success will always be the board’s main goal, so we tip our hats to staff who make this happen every day and will continue to focus on improving in this area.”
The District will look to repeat the survey in coming years to monitor progress and keep abreast of new successes or areas that need attention.