Survey: Community satisfied with District 68
A survey of District 68 parents, faculty and students shows the district is performing well according to stakeholders. Highland School students are seen eating lunch. Even food scores were up compared to the 2010 survey. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2013 10:43AM
School District 68 has released results of a comprehensive survey of faculty, parents and students measuring their “perceptions” of the largest elementary school district in Skokie.
Some of the topic questions were exclusive to the three stakeholder groups while others were universal and applied to all groups.
While a similar survey was issued in 2010 and the district can now compare results, more people responded to the survey this time around, which educators view as a success in itself. About 47 percent of parents who were provided the survey responded, up from 24 percent two years ago.
Perhaps the most favorable news for District 68 leaders comes from a question on page eight of the 17-page report: “Overall, how satisfied are you with Skokie School District 68?” The average response was 4.35 with 4 being “agree” and 5 being “strongly agree.” That result also marks an improvement from 2010 when the average response was 4.0.
“The perception of our stakeholders is positive,” said District 68 Superintendent Frances McTague. Most of the responses were in the very good to above average range. We’re very pleased our community is comfortable with the education we’re delivering. That’s the take-away here.”
She said no single trend emerged in the comments that parents could offer. It appeared by the results, McTague said, that parents have strong relationships with the building principals at District 68.
For parents, the perception survey measured topics ranging from curriculum and communication to student achievement and student safety. For staff, topics included some of the same but also questions on student achievement and planning. Students were asked about communication, achievement and physical/social/emotional well being.
Some of the more noteworthy results from the survey included the following;
• Not as many parents feel their children are being academically challenged enough compared to what they believed in 2010 but only by a slight margin.
• More faculty report that bullying is a problem in schools than do parents and students.
• More parents favor school remaining open for all religious holidays than in 2010 while staff for the most part wants to see the school calendar unchanged.
Parents were asked about the district’s performance in teaching curriculum in many different areas 26 in total – and the results were more favorable in all of them than in 2010. The media library center received the highest score (3.44 out of 4) but every topic other than two rated at least good (a minimum rating of 3).
Only foreign language (2.72 but still up from 2.42 in 2010) and the food services program (2.86 but still up from 2.28 in 2010) received an average rating of under 3 or “good.”
Communication between the district and parents was rated especially high. With 5 signaling “strongly agree” and 4 “agree,” every question about communicating with teachers, principals or even the superintendent had an average of well over 4.
Students showed an increase from two years ago in their belief that they receive too much homework, but a larger percentage of them signaled that the overall difficulty of their homework is appropriate.
The Skokie School District 68 Parent, Staff & Student Survey can be found in its entirety online at www.skokie68.org.