Montclair School Superintendent To Share District Climate Survey Results

our schoolsMontclair Public School students feel strongly about this statement: “Adults at my school believe I can learn.”

But not so strongly about this one: “Students at my school try to work out problems with each other in a helpful way.”

Montclair Superintendent of Schools Penny MacCormack will present these and other results of surveys designed to gauge high expectations and school climate at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

The surveys were given for the first time in June 2014 to grade 3-12 students, staff and families, MacCormack said. They are an integral part of Goal 1 of Montclair Public Schools District Strategic Plan, “High Expectations and Achievement for All.”

Do students feel a sense of belonging? Do they feel safe in their school? Do they have a strong relationship with staff? Is the school-level staff effective?

Individual schools will be looking at the results of such questions during the 2014-15 school year. Questions will also be reviewed with revisions likely for the second go-around next spring.

“First set of results shouldn’t be something that we really lay a stake in the ground on,” MacCormack said.

One thing the administration would like to see is greater participation, she said. While a range of 42-100% of students, 25-92% of staff, and 5-46% of families responded to the first annual surveys, the goal for 2015 is to see 95% student and staff participating and 35% of families.

“We are building a new muscle to allow ourselves to continuously improve and we need to give that muscle some time,” she said.

Students are given time during the school day to complete the surveys, which are voluntary.

“It’s very helpful to educators,” MacCormack said, “students very much like us to hear their voice and have a voice in their education.”

Click to see other issues to be covered on the agenda for tonight’s Board meeting which will be held in the Montclair High School Auditorium, 100 Chestnut St, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live on TV on FiOS Channel 33 and will be streamed live right here on Baristanet.

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