— Spur continuous improvement by students, staff members, schools, departments, programs and the school system as a whole,
— Ensure the effective use of resources to achieve the system’s goals,
— Facilitate sound and effective decision-making, and
— Hold staff members, schools, departments, programs and the school system accountable for their contributions to the achievement of these aims.
One element in implementing the Framework is a school-specific Site-Based Survey administered in alternate years. Similar to the Community Satisfaction Survey that measures attitudes community-wide, the Site-Based Survey focuses on the opinions of parents, teachers, and students in a particular school on a series of topics of interest to APS as it seeks to meet the objectives of the Framework.
The 2008 Site-Based Survey was conducted in the spring of 2008. Parents received the survey directly through the postal service. Students received the survey during identified classes. Teachers were surveyed via the web. For more information on the survey administration methods, click here.
Attached is a summary of selected results of the survey for your school. It provides a mean (average) response to each survey item. To provide a comparative context, we have also included the mean response for all schools and the mean response for each school level (elementary, middle, high).
The summary reports student, parent, and teacher responses on some specific areas of interest to APS as it seeks to measure its progress toward meeting Strategic Plan targets. For example, students report on the degree to which they feel safe and welcomed at school, how well they were prepared academically, whether they or others are subject to bullying, and so on. Cultural competence – a major emphasis of the Arlington Public Schools – is the subject of a series of questions, as is the issue of teacher expectations and the responsiveness of the school’s principal. The complete set of results for each site is available from the school’s principal.
It is important to note that the survey results reflect the opinions of a random selection of people at a specific point in time; those opinions change for a variety of reasons.
As we have seen in the Community Satisfaction Survey,
When asked if they feel safe at school, the 4.1 mean score put students in the range of “somewhat agree,” while parents strongly agree that their child feels safe at school, with an average score of 4.7. On other indicators of school climates, students across APS were positive, but average scores fall in the mid- to low-range of the somewhat agree response on issues such as “I like to go to school,” “when I have a problem at school I am able to get help,” and “there is at least one adult in my school with whom I can talk about almost anything.” These responses and others can be compared to the individual school results to determine areas of possible emphasis in school planning.