Dear SSIS Parents –
I would like to thank the 350 parents and 313 students who have participated in our online survey in conjunction with the school’s strategic planning process. The surveys are still open, so if you haven’t yet responded there is still time to have your voice heard.
We asked parents and students to reflect on twelve potential areas of focus and rank them in order of importance. The purpose was to understand, in greater detail, what our community believes should be our top priorities when allocating instructional time and resources over the next few years.
As a reminder, the areas listed on the survey were:
- College and University Admissions
- Finding and Analyzing Information
- Reading Skills
- Writing Skills
- Public Speaking Skills
- Math Skills
- Career Awareness
- Student understanding of their Personal Beliefs
- Balancing On-Screen and Off-Screen Time
- Students generated personal learning goals
- Students generated personal growth goals.
- Improving engagement in community service.
Combined surveys from parents and students rated the following as most important in our curriculum development work (remember, when looking at the graphics, that shorter bars mean that the item is ranked as more important):
- Writing Skills – 2.58
- Finding and Analyzing Information – 2.65
- Reading Skills – 2.67
- College and University Admissions – 3.09
- Public Speaking Skills – 3.16
- Math Skills – 3.22
To be clear, we certainly do not interpret these results as a rejection of community service, student-set learning goals, or any other valuable area of focus. Indeed, our students and parents clearly embrace all of our Core Values. What our community is saying, though, is that they support what has been our ongoing focus in the last two years in continuing to strengthen and improve the core curriculum of the school.
Interestingly, when you just look at our student responses from the survey (remembering, too, that 15% of the students responding were from Gr 5, 50% were from the middle school, and 35% were from the high school) you see where our students are focusing their attention (again, shorter bars means that the respondent believes the issue is more important):
- College an University Admissions – 4.55
- Reading Skills – 5.10
- Public Speaking – 5.24
- Writing Skills – 5.34
- Career Awareness – 5.40
- Finding and Analyzing Information – 5.66
- Math Skills – 6.16
Our strategic plan will focus on three areas: our Core Values, teaching and learning, and community engagement. The information we have gathered here will be clearly visible in our planning as we move forward.
Our thanks, again, to all who participated in our survey.
Mark Iver Sylte, Head of School<