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This will be Part I of making sure we keep the transparency promises we made back at the beginning of this extraordinary year…first up: The Annual Parent Survey!

A couple of months ago, parents in our school had an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback through an online survey.  We anticipate this being a yearly occurrence and an important one at that.  Beyond the opportunities I have had to meet collectively and privately with families all throughout the year; beyond the admissions and exit interviews performed by our Admissions Director; beyond the feedback picked up at Parent-Teacher Conferences; even beyond all the fun things that get discussed in the parking lot – it is important to also offer a totally anonymous opportunity for parents to share their thoughts and assess the school.  I look forward making this a yearly event AND to begin to chart our results over time to even better assess our performance.

Parents were asked to fill out separate surveys for multiple children in the school and we received back responses from 55% of current students in the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.  Without further ado…let’s begin!

Perhaps not unsurprisingly, responses are skewed towards the younger grades not only because that’s were most of our students are presently located, but also because of the enthusiasm newer families often bring (not that we’re not all enthusiastic!).  OK – so we know who took the survey…how did we do?!

Let’s first look at the BIG PICTURE:

That’s pretty great!  On scale of 1-10, our average score wound up being 7.7.  We’d love to be a 10 out of 10 for every parent in each facet of schooling, but this both tells us we are doing pretty well and that we have some room to grow.  Let’s dig deeper.  Next up…Communication.

When it comes to communication, we have pretty high marks altogether – with the highest marks coming in communication via electronic means and the lowest marks coming in providing opportunities for parents to be involved in student learning.  We look forward to new ideas for improving parent partnerships coming from this data.   Let’s move on and look at our Administration.

You should know that I am engaged in my own evaluative process – this data along with surveys from my teachers and colleagues as well as my own self-evaluation are being compiled as we speak.  I appreciate the high marks, but recognize that I still have a lot of room to grow as a school leader and the candor many of you provided in your open-ended responses will be a useful tool towards that end.  Although it is still a fairly high number (7.62) [Don’t be fooled by the X-axis!], I will work harder next year to ensure there is even greater confidence in our application of the student code of conduct.  And now most importantly…academics!

This first part is non-subject specific:

(Hopefully you can read it or you can blow it up if it is a tad small…)

Our highest marks in this area came in 21st century technology…this is no surprise with the amount of emphasis we put on it.  I was pleased by the high mark (7.77) for individualized attention.  One area of (relative) concern and something I expect to be much higher next year is teaching in different styles (6.98).  Differentiated instruction is a core philosophy of our program and I expect this number to rise and rise each year.

Next up!  General Studies:

Overall, we scored very well.  Where public perception is slightly lower, we find one of those happy confluences where our own internal assessment mirrors the parents.  Our lowest marks in General Studies came in Math (6.71) and Science (6.87). With a move to Singapore Math next year, we fully expect that number to climb.  We also intend to provide more regular Science Lab opportunities to children in the elementary school next year.  This should help in that area as well.

We will be revisiting General Studies academics in next week’s Part II…when I will be sharing how we did in our standardized testing this year and now to best understand the results.  (Spoiler Alert: We did great!)

Here are the results for Jewish Studies, Resources and Extracurricular activities:

We are thrilled with high marks for Jewish Studies and our wonderful PE, Music and Art departments!  Field trips and service learning scored excellently as well.  Our lowest mark was in Afterschool Activities (6.19).  We are hoping that two new programs we are launching next year – an Enhanced Kindergarten Program and a new partnership with the JCA (that’s right…stay tuned!) – will help to even better serve this population.

And so there you have it.  Thanks to all the parents who took the time and care to fill out surveys.  In addition to the multiple choice questions, there were opportunities for open-ended responses.  They added an additional layer of depth; one which is difficult to summarize for a post like this.  But please know that all comments will be shared with those they concern as we use this data to make enhancements and improvements headed into next year.  By the by, we are pleased with how well satisfied our parents are with how the school is going…but be assured, just like with everything else, we fully expect these numbers to be (say it with me!) just “a floor, but no ceiling”!