Reaching out: School District asks for feedback

By Tracy Ouellette

      The East Troy Community School District has been surveying parents, student and staff to get feedback on how the district is doing and where improvement can be made.

      The district sent out a family survey in July asking for information on a wide variety of subjects, including how parent felt their children were accepted in the schools and how the district was communicating with families.

      An overview of the information from the family survey was presented to the School Board Monday night.

      In the report, District Administrator Chris Hibner outlined the data that was collected in the survey, which School Perceptions aligned common questions into themes for the district.

      The survey showed that, for the most part, families felt they were well informed and listened to.

      The survey had 402 respondents split pretty evenly throughout the four schools in the district.

      On an scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, families reported they felt:

      • Informed, 3.98, with the question being, “I am kept up to date on my child’s progress and what’s happening at school.”

      • Included, 3.88. Question: “I am welcomed and accepted as part of the school community.”

      • Atmosphere, 4.11. Question: “My child feels safe and supported at school.”

      • Family, 4.03. Question: “My family is accepted, respected and supported at school.”

      Hibner told the board the full survey results would be examined in depth by building level administration, saying this was “baseline data” to use going forward to help map progress in the schools. The data is broken down by each grade level to assist in this.

      Survey respondents said they felt the School District was great/good at communication.

      The family survey also showed parents/guardians support additional school funding via a referendum for staffing and operations, 84%, and facility needs, 81%.

      Hibner also reviewed last year’s staff survey with the board and presented the May student survey. For the most part, East Troy educators feel good about working in education and the district. They reported they were motivated, but more than half (62%) said they believed their pay was not “fair” for the work they do.

      The student survey which is done every year, added grade levels for this year. The district used to survey kids in grades 5, 8 and 12. This year, the district surveys kids in fourth and fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, and ninth through 12th grade.

      Students surveys said the generally felt their teachers were helping them learn and they were safe in school, with the highest numbers in the lower grades an dropping as the kids grew older.

      Of note were the high numbers of kids saying there was too much stress in school with the number in the 40% of fourth and fifth graders agreeing, 64% of middleschoolers agreeing and 58% of highschoolers agreeing. About the same percentage of students in the same grades also thought “school was boring.”

      With the School District gathering information from the community in the next few months, to help determine if there is support for trying another operational referendum on the April 2023 ballot, the School Board is planning extra meetings in September to give people a chance to learn more. The meeting will be at 5 p.m. Sept. 21 and 29.

      The School District’s annual meeting is also scheduled for Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. in the high school lecture hall.

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