From January 30 to February 16, the Charlottesville City Schools posted a community survey on its website. During that time, 868 people logged on (a few filled out paper versions). The results were presented to the Charlottesville School Board on May 17 [a PDF of the Results of CCS Community Questionnaire can be downloaded from the Charlottesville City Schools web site].
Many of the responses were overwhelmingly positive: Is the curriculum well organized? Over 70 percent agreed it was. Is the staff attentive to the total needs of the students? The answer was resoundingly yes. Do you feel welcome in the schools? Eighty percent replied yes.
But the results were less positive in other areas. Do underachieving students receive the support they need? Only 50 percent responded in the affirmative. Only 35 percent gave the school an above average rating for its preparation of students for the workplace, and the response to whether teachers get the time and resources they need was disappointingly low.
Regardless of any negative response, the School Board was buoyed by the overall results of the survey.
“I think this is great,” said Board member Ned Michie. “I’m a big fan of conducting surveys to find out what people are thinking…I would really like us to get to the point where we’re taking surveys of students. Seems like there’s a lot of interesting information we could get from them, and also our teachers.”
“What’s very useful about the survey,” Board member Leah Puryear added, “is that it opened up many more opportunities to further investigate and ask more questions and have more dialogue with the community.”
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