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Posted on Aug 21, 2014

Parents give school district a passing grade

Parents, for the most part, think the Quincy School District is doing an excellent job educating their children, according to a recent district survey.

The 2014 QSD Parent Survey, done in both English and Spanish, consisted of 20 main questions. Parents filled out the surveys online at the schools where they attended their children’s conferences in March of 2014. There were 683 completed surveys with 314 responses being in English and 369 in Spanish.

“We have about 2,700 students in the district, so if you assume that most parents who answered the survey are likely to have two or more children in school, we felt that 683 was an excellent response rate,” said Tricia Lubach, Quincy School Board president.

One of the questions asked, “Overall, how would describe the education your child gets in the Quincy School District?”

Most respondents said they thought the QSD was doing an excellent or good job – 90 percent to 100 percent responded so in English and in Spanish.

“In general, we were pleased to learn that the overwhelming majority of parents believe that their children receive a “good” or “excellent” education in the Quincy School District,” said Lubach.

However, in general, parents described the education their children receive as being higher at the kindergarten through third-grade levels than at the fourth-grade and higher levels. At least 90 percent of English-speaking parents taking the survey at George, Pioneer and Mountain View elementary schools describe their students’ education as good or excellent. That decreases to about 84 percent at Monument, 75 percent at the junior high school and 70 percent at the high school. High Tech High was the exception to this trend, with about 83 percent of parents giving a good or excellent rating.

As with English-speaking parents, about 95 percent to 98 percent of Spanish-speaking parents taking the survey at George, Pioneer and Mountain View describe their students’ education as good or excellent. The rates of good or excellent decrease somewhat at Monument, the junior high, high school and High Tech High, but not nearly to the same degree that they do among English-speaking parents.

The survey also asked, “Are there areas where you feel your child’s school could do a better job?” Answers varied here; however, both Spanish- and English-speaking parents were more likely to believe there are areas where their children’s school could do a better job at the secondary level than the elementary level. The survey also asked parents what issue at home was impacting their children’s ability to be successful in school. Only 271 parents responded to this question. From the Spanish-speaking responses, the vast majority of parents listed language barriers as having an impact on their children’s success. From the English-speaking responses, the majority of parents listed a lack of time.

The survey also asked parents how much information they receive from their children’s schools. While the majority of parents say they are receiving information, the survey showed parents wanted more information about school schedules and activities, their children’s academic performance and how they can help their children succeed.

The surveyed Spanish-speaking parents overwhelming said they would like to receive school information via a telephone call. A majority of Spanish-speaking parents who answered the survey said they did not have access to email or the Internet at home.

On the other hand, the vast majority of English-speaking parents who responded to the survey said have access to email or the Internet at home. Those respondents said they prefer receiving information via email; however, a telephone call message was a close second.

“Parents taking the survey in English are more likely than those taking it in Spanish to have access to email or the Internet,” said Lubach. “We will certainly use this feedback to ensure that we continue to use multiple forms of communication and not rely only on email.”

Both the English- and Spanish-speaking respondents agreed they would like to see information about general education and information about what their children are learning on the district website.

“We did get some very helpful feedback from the survey. Because there is so much detail that can be gleaned from the results, individual schools have and will continue to delve into the cross-tabulations to better understand the needs and desires of parents,” Lubach said. “I expect that any changes that the district or individual schools decide to implement based on survey results would be put into place in the coming school year.”

The entire survey and its results can be found at https://app.eduportal.com/share/f850addd894a03a4.

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