VASD Families and Staff Offer Feedback on Climate Survey

Posted on 05/24/2017
This is the image for the news article titled VASD FAMILIES AND STAFF OFFER FEEDBACK ON CLIMATE SURVEYThe Verona Area School District (VASD) unveiled its annual climate survey for the 2016-2017 school year, asking staff and families to respond on a variety of questions. Click here to see the board presentation summary of results from families or click here for the staff summary.  

More than half of district staff (62%) took part while just over 1,300 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 was administered by a survey administration company to compare results with other school districts similar in size. 

“I want to thank all the staff and families who took the time to respond to the survey,” said Dean Gorrell, superintendent of the Verona Area School District. “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 themes of survey data:

Results showed that 88% of staff felt the district offers a high qualityacademic program. Of the staff respondents, 99% agree their job contributes to the success of the district with 93% sharing their job is personally satisfying. Nearly 90% agree they are satisfied with their benefits. Another 80% shared they agree they have adequate professional development and training. Excitingly, the district made the move to provide an IPad to EVERY student during the 2016-2017 school year, and 88% of staff felt satisfied and supported in the district technology plan.

Outside of staff and academics, 91% of family survey respondents agree that the district and schools’ communication efforts inform them of the regular happenings throughout the district. More than 80% of respondents agreed that the district is heading in the right direction, has effective financial management, and is forming effective partnerships with businesses and community organizations. Coming off a successful April, 2017 facilities referendum, this area will continue in the spotlight as construction and renewal plans unveil through the year 2020.

“Each year, the results demonstrate to our administration and staff more about where we need to improve,” said Dean Gorrell, district superintendent, “but also allow us to congratulate our district-wide staff members for the great things they are already doing every day in their classrooms and support positions.”

On the improvement side, family feedback included the need to focus more on preparing students for life after high school and college/career readiness. Also noted was both the staff and family respondents’ desire for additional support and social work services for mental health and struggling/at-risk students. 

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. Also, 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. Not only will these initiatives positively assist in improvements on the family feedback, but they also point directly to the district’s mission statement: “EVERY Student Must be Successful.” 

In response to the survey results, Board of Education president Noah Roberts shared, “We certainly want to make sure our staff understands their value in the District as each staff member is fundamental to the success of our students." Roberts added that the students’ success will always be the board’s main goal. “The data from this climate survey will continue to direct the board, administration, and staff on our schools’ continuous improvement process.” 

The district also added a few questions on the survey regarding the future of “late-start” Mondays, which currently are being held every Monday at the elementary level and every other Monday at the middle and high school level. Data shows that a sizeable majority of families desire to keep “late-start” Mondays to continue as is. 

The district administrative team, consisting of each school’s principals/directors and central office administrators, have already held work sessions to review results and will be meeting for a two-day retreat with one of the goals to focus on continuous school improvement planning. Building administrators are currently walking through each of their 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. 
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