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Parent survey covers school climate and educational feedback

RANCHO SANTA FE — Parents whose children attend R. Roger Rowe took part in an online survey before the school year ended and provided their input on topics related to school climate, the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, safety and education and more. This year, new Superintendent Donna Tripi streamlined the parent survey into one by combining elements of a few different previous parent surveys.

Tripi described the overall response to the survey as positive and said many districts do this for parental input as well as placing particular program feedback into the Local Control and Accountability Plan.

The survey was sent out to 375 families, and a total of 223 were completed and returned. On average, the online survey took about 15 minutes to complete 20 questions.

“This (survey) was a good rate of return,” Tripi said.

According to Tripi, questions pertained to school climate, the programs offered, parental thoughts on reading, writing, mathematics and science, safety and security, communications and the Education Foundation.

Results of the survey were revealed at the district’s June monthly board meeting.

“The results were overwhelmingly positive to me,” Tripi said. “Between 80 and 90%, overall, were very positive about all of the aspects of the school, learning environment, and the programs.”

Parents had four answer categories to choose from in the survey, which included strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. Tripi wanted to steer clear of the middle of the road answers.

One survey question asked parents if their child felt comfortable speaking with their teacher. A total of 108 respondents said they strongly agreed, 70 answered they agreed, and a total of 10 either responded in the disagree or strongly disagree choices.

A comment section allowed parents to elaborate on their answers. Tripi found this helpful for district goals.

In the category of the school emphasizing character development, a total of 55 respondents said they strongly agree and 94 agreed that the school did achieve this, whereas 32 persons said they disagreed and the remaining four strongly disagreed.

“In terms of the learning environment, we will be looking into the social, emotional support and what we are doing in character education and leadership — we will focus on these areas next year as parents felt we could do more in that area,” Tripi said.

As far as school programs, Tripi said survey feedback was resoundingly positive. Some parents revealed that they were happy that the math programs would change in the new school year.

On the Education Foundation front, Tripi noted the survey aimed to find out how parents were perceiving it.

“The Education Foundation is an impactful part of the experience for students here — they raise $1 million a year, so it makes quite an impact,” she said.

When asked if parents contributed to the RSF Education Foundation this school year, 87.04% said that they did. For those who did not participate, reasons ranged from financial constraints to not believing in private funding for a public school.

Tripi said the annual survey plays a big part in putting together goals for the upcoming school year.

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