2018 Climate Survey Results Released
Published on 4/13/18
The third annual Syracuse City School District Climate Survey is complete. Survey questions – provided to students, guardians and school staff – aligned with district priorities in an effort to provide district administrators and school leaders with insight into the experiences of students and staff so they are better able to plan policies and procedures to best help students learn.
As a district, we aim to engage families and communities, operate using culturally responsive practices, remain outcome focused and data driven, provide personalized learning for both students and staff and provide dynamic, rigorous curriculum and instruction for our students. The Climate Survey helps provide a sense of where we stand on these priorities – what we are doing well and where the areas of improvement are.
This year, nearly twice as many guardians responded compared to last year’s survey, and parent responses were submitted in each of the languages for which SCSD provided translations. Student response rate held steady compared to last year, with close to 70 percent of students in grades 3-12 completing the survey questions to provide their feedback. These are all good signs that our community is passionate about what is happening in our schools and engaged in bringing about positive change! Thank you to all who took the time to complete a survey.
Climate Survey questions focused around several categories required by the Assurance of Discontinuance, including relationships (staff/student, staff/parent and student/student), fairness and clarity of rules and behavioral expectations and school safety. Questions were also included to help the SCSD better shape its priorities, including questions falling into the categories of responsibility, learning environment, academic rigor, teaching practices and school leadership and opportunities.
According to student, parent and staff responses, there are several areas in which the Syracuse City Schools are currently succeeding. When it comes to rules and behavioral expectations, for instance, more than 80 percent of all groups responded that they understand the behavioral expectations in school and what happens if the rules are broken. Despite the significant role that the Code of Conduct, Character and Support plays in guiding student discipline, about 50 percent of students and about a third of parents expressed concern about equity, noting that they believe the rules may not be applied fairly to all students.
Among student and guardian responses, the big takeaway for SCSD leaders was clear: bullying and classroom distractions continue to be a concern. While more than 60 percent of students said they feel they can get help from an adult if they are bullied, more than 66 percent of parents expressed that bullying is a problem for students. And nearly all students indicated that the behaviors of other students hurt their own learning. Our SCSD leadership teams are already discussing how staffing changes and trainings can help address these concerns moving forward.
Academically, parents indicated that they believe that their children are being well prepared for the next academic year, and staff report that they are holding students to higher expectations. More than 80 percent of parents reported that their child’s school is welcoming and provides opportunities to be involved, and nearly two-thirds said that their child’s school is sensitive to their child’s cultural background. We are proud of our diversity, and we are glad that it shows.
We remain committed to using this feedback to continue improving our school – and District – culture and climate. Thank you to the students, families and staff who took the time to provide their insights.
To learn more about the 2018 Climate Survey results, please click here to view Independent Monitor Dr. Cheryl Atkinson's Progress Report from April 11, 2018 (see slides 15-23).