From Las Cruces Public Schools:
LAS CRUCES – If the Superintendent of the Las Cruces Public Schools asked you what you would do to improve the school system, what would you suggest? Would the answer focus on classroom materials, or would it be about school safety, or how about communication between home and school? Hearing suggestions about school improvement is the premise behind a new survey that is currently underway and is open to all LCPS students and teachers and soon to be open to parents.
Tracie O’Hara, director of LCPS accountability, assessment and research, said the district hopes for a good response from the thousands of students, teachers or parents who can go online to answer the short survey that focuses on several topics ranging from instruction to extracurricular activities to school safety to clean schools. The surveys are available in both English and Spanish, and for parents, the survey will be online from November 8-20. Teachers and students will take their surveys at school, she said.
“Our district has ventured into a new way to get feedback directly from stakeholders,” O’Hara said. “Survey results will be incredibly important because they will assist the Superintendent and the School Board as they make important decisions that impact all students.”
Beginning November 8, parents will take the survey on the Internet, which will be at the top of the home page of the district’s website: www.lascrucesschools.org or www.lcps.k12.nm.us. Parents who do not have a computer at home can use a computer at any school in the district.
O’Hara said the survey for parents is a climate survey, which gathers opinions related to the following categories: communication with parents; homework and teacher support; school leadership; safety and behavior; and parent engagement.
In addition, survey responders will be able to rank the importance of staff and other resources that are part of the school environment. Choices include: librarian; class size; counselors; clean and well-maintained buildings; bus transportation; nurses; School Resource (police) Officers on campus; textbooks; support by the district administration; and school psychologists.
The answers provided by parents who fill out this part of the survey may be very different depending on the ages of the children in their families. Regardless of what the results turn out to be, the data will give a lot of insight into what parents value with regard to their child’s particular education or educational environment, O’Hara said.
Another question that asks parents to rank items in order of priority is about educational programs offered to children. Parents will rank their top three choices from the following options: Co-curricular/Extra-Curricular activities, such as sports, clubs, and student performances; art and music education; support for students with special education needs; adult education program; career/technical education; English language development program for students with limited English speaking skills; physical education; and gifted and talented education programs such as honors or Advanced Placement courses.
O’Hara said the survey will also ask several questions regarding school operations. Parents’ viewpoints provide a good balance with the viewpoints from within the school district when it comes to whether students are being provided enough textbooks, computers, healthy foods, or enough to eat at school.
The first survey conducted this year was done internally with school staff and principals. Questions focused on how well the schools were prepared for the beginning of the school year.
“The outcome is amazing!” said O’Hara. “We heard that schools were ready, clean, and that overall, LCPS was well prepared for the school year.”
A new webpage called “Your Voice” is being developed so that anyone can review the results of all surveys that are conducted.