Letter from Cathey Goodgame – February 11, 2015

Dear ANCS Families and Friends,

In January, our students, parents/guardians and staff were given the opportunity to provide feedback to us on some very important questions about our school. We survey these groups three times each year and spend time combing through the responses for celebrations, as well as areas needing attention. The surveys from all groups were overwhelmingly positive and I want to share some of the data here. For these purposes, I am using the combined responses for Always and Frequently to determine positive response rate.

Parents (100% positive) and staff (97% positive) both agreed that students are engaged in meaningful learning at the middle campus. Parents (97% positive) also indicated that our students are receiving the academic support they need. Parents (96% positive) and staff (100% positive) feel strongly that students are known well by, and have developed a positive relationship with, at least one adult.

Communication is always a hot topic and we had some celebration in this area as well. When asked about effective and productive communication with parents, 100% of the staff registered a positive response. Similarly, 95% of parents feel that they are aware of what their children are working on at school.

While it’s certainly interesting to know what the adults have to say, it’s the kids who can really give us some great insights. The highest positive response rate, 95%, for students was to the statement, “I have a good sense of my strengths and areas in which I can improve”. When I think back to when I was 13 years old, I’m not sure I had any idea about my strengths and growth areas, yet I truly believe our kids are comfortable with both and can even articulate them most of the time. Similar to the parents, students indicated that they get the support they need from their teachers (94% positive) and that their classes have the materials needed to help them learn (93% positive).

With our work this year in Conscious Discipline and mindfulness, I found the student responses to “I am good at controlling my emotions” to be of particular interest. This was the fourth highest positive response item with 92% of students indicating Always or Frequently. The staff and students have worked hard to create a calm spirit in our building this year. I am thrilled that kids are recognizing this success.

It’s wonderful to see so many areas in which we can celebrate our collective successes. We had a small number of questions with responses below 80% positive and we will spend some time over the coming weeks looking at those to begin, or continue in some cases, addressing any concerns. Parents/Guardians – If you don’t usually respond to the surveys, please consider responding next time. We really do review the data and use the feedback as we move forward during the year.

Wishing you well,
Cathey