Survey Results

The summary of results from the community, student, and staff survey are available below. The Community Survey was open from January 31, 2014 through February 14, 2014. The Staff Survey was open from February 3, 2014 through February 17, 2014 and the Student (Grades 8-11) Survey was administered to students in school during the month of February 2014. 

Community Survey

As part of my entry plan, I committed to and delivered a survey for community input for the purpose of helping guide the future direction of the district. This survey was advertised through the assistance of the Lower Providence Community Library as well as through multiple means via district communications resources.

The community survey was one of three surveys distributed. The survey had similar questions to that of the two other constituent groups, (students and staff) and consisted of 6 questions and a final comment area. There were 3 open-ended questions and 3 questions with selectable choice responses. The results of the open-ended responses were derived from reading each response and organizing similar responses into themes and then tallying within each theme. Selectable choice response question results were tallied in a manner depicted under each of the three (3) questions of that type to follow.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 1: WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 923 provided at least 1 response while several respondents had multiple responses to this question. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 32 themes. The top 10 themes are represented in the table below:

249

Teachers

109

Parents/Community Support

68

Academic Program

65

Extracurricular Activities

56

Arts/Music/Theater Program

54

Reputation/Pride

51

Communication

46

Curriculum

43

Academic choices/Academic Opportunities

33

AP/Honors/Gifted Program


These 10 themes represent 774 of the 1,068 total tallied responses provided or 72% of the total responses. The top response of “Teachers” at 249 were in the form of statements such as “Methacton teachers are the best”; “Teachers”; and “We have great teachers”. It is clear from the community respondents that there is an appreciation for the teaching staff compared to any other thematic area. Nearly 1/3 of the community respondents suggested teachers when identifying strengths.

The remaining 9 themes represent a larger recognition in that the “Teachers” (249) and the “Parents/Community Support” (109) are by far the two highest responses. This data supports observations and conversations that I have had with students, teachers, and parents indicating that our district strength lies in the cooperative and supportive nature of our parents and our teachers.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 2: WHAT IMPROVEMENTS NEED TO BE MADE IN THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, there were 690 responses. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 51 themes. The top 10 themes are represented in the table below:

74

Athletic Facilities/Fields/Lights

47

Maintenance of Facilities

44

Improve Performance Review Process

43

Math Program

35

Communications

34

Increase Curricular Rigor

34

Offer Full Day Kindergarten

32

Improve Guidance Services

31

Improve Technology

26

Special Education Program


These 10 themes represent 400 of the 690 total responses provided or 58% of the total responses. The top response of Athletic Facilities/Fields/Lights (74) was in the form of statements such as “Upgrade gymnasium”; “Turf and lights”; “the Arcola Fields are unusable, need to be replaced”; “the high school field and light project is a much needed improvement”. It is clear from the community respondents that there is a concern with the quality of fields on both the Arcola/Skyview campus as well as the high school campus. There were several comments regarding the high school weight room, as well as the main gymnasium, and locker rooms on both Arcola and high school campuses.

The “Improve Performance Review Process” was a combination of comments aimed towards improving teacher, administrator, and student performance appraisals. There were several suggestions towards “although we have many great teachers, we still need a better system to get rid of the ones that are not pulling their weight” to statements like “testing needs to be addressed along with too much emphasis on final exams”.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 3: WHAT IS YOUR SATISFACTION LEVEL WITH THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 805 provided a response. The available responses are listed within the table below along with their corresponding results:

Extremely Satisfied

9%

Very Satisfied

44%

Somewhat Satisfied

32%

Slightly Satisfied

9%

Not at all Satisfied

6%


In review of these results, there were 48 respondents that were “Not at all Satisfied” compared to the opposite extreme of nearly 73 “Extremely Satisfied.” Overall, 53% of respondents were very satisfied or better with the Methacton School District as compared to 15% of respondents being slightly or not at all satisfied with the district.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 4: WHAT BUSINESS/COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS SHOULD THE DISTRICT SEEK TO PROVIDE ENHANCED OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL STUDENTS?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. There were 423 responses categorized into 1 of 67 themes. The top 10 themes are represented below. These 10 themes represent 72% or 303 of the total responses to this question.

83

Mentoring/Internships

56

STEM/Technology/Pharmaceutical/Engineering Companies

39

Increase Student Community Service

20

Career Days/Speakers

26

Partner with youth/service organizations

24

Partnership with Ursinus/Other Colleges/Universities

15

Increase access/focus on Career Education

14

Donations from businesses (local and national)

12

County/local Government/Townships

14

Naming Rights/Advertising Opportunities

 These responses suggest that the district should be partnering more than what it does today or has in the past. It may suggest that respondents are not aware of the ways in which the district currently partners. In any event, it is recommended that partnering via mentoring and internship programs are highly favored.

In terms of partnerships with specific types of companies and for specific types of benefits, the “STEM/Technology/Pharmaceutical/Engineering Companies” (56) is consistent with my conversations with students, teachers, and parents during this entry plan period.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 5: WHAT FIVE INDICATORS BEST DESCRIBE A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 743 provided responses by selecting 5 indicators from the 19 available indicators. The top 5 indicators overall are listed within the table below with their corresponding values:

Students are taught by highly qualified teachers.

395

Students receive thought provoking, career relevant, and challenging content.

329

Students have access to a wide variety of academic options.

312

Students become life-long learners.

303

Students’ unique talents/traits are developed.

287

Respondents were required to check no more than 5 boxes from the available 19 choices describing a successful school. There were 3,715 total responses with each of the 19 available indicators being selected at less than 43 times. The results show that 53% of the 743 respondents selected “Students are taught by highly qualified teachers” as 1 of their 5 options. It should be known that the available indicators were consistent from survey to survey, but were randomly presented to reduce the likelihood of sequential error in the survey. The fact that there is a strong belief in having “students taught by highly qualified teachers” (53%) along with our “Teachers” (249) being our greatest strength, as defined by the community, represents a significant undertone of quality and appreciation for the work of our teachers.

COMMUNITY SURVEY QUESTION 6: WHAT PRIORITY LEVEL SHALL THE DISTRICT GIVE TO IMPROVEMENT IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 714 provided a response. This question sought to have respondents place each of the 22 available options into 1 of three possible priorities. Results were tabulated by assigning a value of 3 to each high priority, a value of 2 for medium, and a 1 for low priority. Each result was tabulated and the median score accompanies the results below:

2.71

Core Academic Programs

2.66

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

2.58

Student Access to Technology

2.58

School and Campus Security and Safety

2.54

Technology in the Classroom

2.53

Information, Communication, and Technology Literacy

2.52

Career Readiness/Preparedness

2.43

Academic Electives

2.38

Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy

2.33

Business/Parental/Community Engagement


The top 10 high priority results are listed above. These suggest that the Core Academic Programs (2.71 out of 3 possible) shall have the highest priority by the district as compared to full-day kindergarten (2.04 out of 3). The “Core Academic Programs” (2.71) was the highest priority, looking at the remaining 9 themes we see many with a relationship to a broader theme in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

COMMUNITY SURVEY LAST QUESTION: ANY ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS FOR THIS SURVEY?

There were a total of 978 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 242 provided additional thoughts or comments. This question sought to have the respondent give any additional comments or thoughts as they saw fit. The results were reviewed and placed into 58 themes. The top 10 themes with tabulations listed below:

15

Methacton is Great

13

Improve Academic Rigor

12

Improve Instruction

11

Improve/Refocus Curriculum

10

Reduce Focus on Testing

10

Implement Full Day Kindergarten

10

Increase Technology

9

Improve Bullying Prevention Program

9

Increase Career Education Programming

8

Improve Math Program


The results here represent 107 of the additional thoughts from the total of 242 responses or 44%. There was no one theme that stood out among the entire group. Return to top.
 
Student Survey

STUDENT SURVEY QUESTION 1: WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the student survey. Students in grades 8 through 11 were provided the survey during the course selection process at MHS. From the total respondents, there were 1,282 responses provided with several respondents having multiple responses to this question. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 44 themes. The top 10 themes are represented in the table below:

360

Good Teachers

159

Athletics

107

Clubs/Activities

98

Good Education/Academic Program/Curriculum

97

Variety of Course Electives

56

Music/Band/Chorus/Orchestra/Arts/Theater Programs

50

Student Body

35

College Preparation/Honors and AP Classes

31

Friendly environment

30

Good technology


The top 10 themes represent 80% or 1,023 out of 1,282 of the total responses. These results are similar to the results from the community survey for this same question. Students also recognized athletics, activities and Music/Band/Chorus/Orchestra/Arts/Theater Programs as district strengths.

STUDENT SURVEY QUESTION 2: WHAT IMPROVEMENTS NEED TO BE MADE IN THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 1,036 responses were provided with several respondents having multiple responses to this question. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 38 themes. The top 10 themes with corresponding tallies are represented in the table below:

215

School Café Food

99

Daily High School Schedule

95

New Fields/Lights/Track

71

Better Teachers

60

Better/More Technology

39

Classroom/Teaching Climate

36

More Course Offerings

33

Building Upkeep

31

Less Homework

29

Better Busses/Transportation


These 10 themes represent 708 of the 1,036 total responses provided or 68% of the total responses. The top response of School Café Food (215) was a highly prevalent theme observed. This theme incorporated concern for quality of food, available choices, serving lines being too long, not enough time for lunch, too many healthy options and not enough healthy options. There were statements regarding the need for “New Fields/Lights/Track” at the high school and that the Arcola fields are in terrible shape. Statements like “we need turf and lights;” and the Arcola fields are like playing on a bed of rocks” to the “track is in need of many repairs”. Interestingly, one of the top ten themes related to the upkeep of the building. Statements here suggested better care of the hallways and cleanliness of classrooms is needed.

STUDENT SURVEY QUESTION 3: WHAT IS YOUR SATISFACTION LEVEL WITH THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 1,133 provided a response. The available responses are listed within the table below along with their corresponding results:

Extremely Satisfied

5%

Very Satisfied

51%

Somewhat Satisfied

34%

Slightly Satisfied

7%

Not at all Satisfied

3%


In review of these results, there were 30 respondents that were “Not at all Satisfied” compared to the opposite extreme of 59 “Extremely Satisfied.” Overall, 56% of respondents were very satisfied or better with the Methacton School District as compared to 10% of respondents being slightly or not at all satisfied with the district.

STUDENT SURVEY QUESTION 4: WHAT FIVE INDICATORS BEST DESCRIBE A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 1,123 provided responses by selecting 5 indicators from the 19 available indicators. The top 5 indicators overall are listed within the table below along with their corresponding values:

Students have access to a wide variety of activities.

520

Students have access to a wide variety of academic options.

503

Students are prepared to enter career of choice.

432

Students are taught by highly qualified teachers.

416

Student earn acceptance to college of choice.

410

The top 5 indicators of a successful school district as seen through the eyes of our 8th-11th grade students suggests a wide variety of activities are important while the remaining top themes all have to do with choice as it relates to academic options, career preparation, and college. It appears that these responses are telling us that our students want to learn and want a variety of experiences.

STUDENT SURVEY QUESTION 5: WHAT PRIORITY LEVEL SHALL THE DISTRICT GIVE TO IMPROVEMENT IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 1,088 provided a response. This question sought to have the respondent place each of the 22 available options into 1 of three priorities. Results were tabulated by assigning a value of 3 to each high priority, a value of 2 for medium, and a 1 for low priority. Each result was tabulated and the median score accompanies the results below:

2.47

Student Activities

2.46

Career Readiness/Preparedness

2.40

Student Access to Technology

2.37

Academic Electives

2.36

Technology in the Classroom

2.35

Facilities (Gymnasiums, Fields, Buildings, Grounds) Improvements

2.34

Core Academic Programs

2.34

After School Programs for Enrichment and Academic Support

2.29

Athletic Programs (PIAA)

2.26

School and Campus Security and Safety


The top 10 improvements identified above along with student responses to Question 2 “What improvements need to be made…” suggest a successful school that not only needs student activities, but suggests that those activities may need improvement. There is evidence that improvements to facilities including gymnasiums, fields, buildings, and grounds are a consistent theme.

STUDENT SURVEY LAST QUESTION: ANY ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS FOR THIS SURVEY?

There were a total of 1,159 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 181 additional thoughts or comments were provided. This question sought to have the respondents give any additional comments or thoughts as they saw fit. The results were reviewed and placed into 32 themes. The top 10 themes with tabulations are listed below:

24

Better Café Food

24

Improve Fields/Track/Lights

22

Methacton is Great School

19

Improve High School Schedule

11

More Afterschool Activities/Athletics

9

More Technology

9

Improve Instruction

7

Improve Classroom Climate

5

Increase Parking

5

Improve Facilities

Staff Survey

STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 1: WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents there were 653 responses tallied while several respondents had multiple responses to this question. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 29 themes. The top 10 themes are represented in the table below:

171

Teachers

69

Supportive Families

67

Students

58

Staff and Faculty

54

Curriculum/Academic Program

34

Community

28

Leadership/Administration

20

Extracurricular Activities

19

Reputation/Pride

16

Resources


The top 10 responses are representative of 536 of the total 653 responses or 82%. Consistent in all three surveys - community, student, and staff - was the fact that teachers were identified as the strength of the district. The staff recognized the support of parents and families in the Methacton community.

STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 2: WHAT IMPROVEMENTS NEED TO BE MADE IN THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, there were 358 responses provided with several respondents having multiple responses to this question. All responses were reviewed and categorized into 1 of 36 themes. The top 10 themes are represented in the table below:

52

Communication Between Administration and Staff

37

Technology Use

29

Consistency and Standardization

25

Professional Development Offerings

24

Collaborative Decision Making

23

Morale

21

Special Education Program

18

Maintenance of Buildings

16

Administration Visibility

15

Athletic Facilities


These 10 themes represent 260 of the 358 total responses provided or 73% of the total responses. The top response of “Communication between Administration and Staff” (52) is further clarified by statements like “The administration should seek teacher input before implementing programs”; “We never know what’s going on until the last minute”; and “we should work together to strengthen the district”. Some suggested a lack of administrative visibility.

STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 3: WHAT IS YOUR SATISFACTION LEVEL WITH THE METHACTON SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 307 provided a response. The available responses are listed within the table below along with their corresponding results:

Extremely Satisfied

10%

Very Satisfied

48%

Somewhat Satisfied

36%

Slightly Satisfied

5%

Not at all Satisfied

1%


In review of these results, there were 4 respondents that were “Not at all Satisfied” compared to the opposite extreme of nearly 30 that were ”Extremely Satisfied”. Overall, 58% of respondents were very satisfied or better with the Methacton School District as compared to 6% of respondents being slightly or not at all satisfied with the district. 
 
STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 4: WHAT BUSINESS/COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS SHOULD THE DISTRICT SEEK TO PROVIDE ENHANCED OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL STUDENTS?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 120 responses were provided. The responses were organized into 1 of 28 themes. The top 10 themes are listed in the table below along with their corresponding results:

24

Internship/Job Shadowing/Mentoring Programs

14

Civic Organizations

11

Senior Citizen Centers/Retired Educators

10

College/University Extension Programs

10

Community Service Expansion

7

Partnerships with Health/Fitness Clubs/Organizations

7

Technology Partnerships

4

Guest Speaker Network

4

Library

4

Business Development Partnership


These results suggest similar findings from the other survey constituent groups. Internships, volunteer opportunities with civic organizations and community service are prevalent.

STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 5: WHAT FIVE INDICATORS BEST DESCRIBE A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL DISTRICT?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 291 provided responses. The top 5 indicators from the 19 available indicators are listed within the table below along with their corresponding results:

Students become life-long learners.

196

Student learn to respect diversity and work with others.

142

Students receive thought provoking, career relevant, and challenging content.

129

Students have access to a wide variety of academic options.

127

Students are taught by highly qualified teachers.

125


The table above indicates that 67% of respondents selected “Students become life-long learners” as one of their top 5 indicators. It was interesting that this is the only survey group that had “Students learn to respect diversity and work with others” in the top 5 indicators.
 

STAFF SURVEY QUESTION 6: WHAT PRIORITY LEVEL SHALL THE DISTRICT GIVE TO IMPROVEMENT IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. From the total respondents, 286 provided a response. This questions sought to have the respondents place each of the 22 available options into 1 of three priorities. Results were tabulated by assigning a value of 3 to each high priority, a value of 2 for medium, and a 1 for low priority. Each result was then tabulated and the median score accompanies the results below:

2.67

Core Academic Programs

2.66

Student Access to Technology

2.65

Career Readiness/Preparedness

2.64

Technology in the Classroom

2.61

School and Campus Security and Safety

2.57

Information, Communication, and Technology Literacy

2.51

STEM

2.45

Mental and Physical Health Support Services

2.40

Character Education

2.36

Health, Physical Education, and Wellness


Most interesting in these results is the priority that teachers assigned to technology access. This may be an indication that our teachers desire to utilize technology to a greater degree than they currently do. It is equally interesting that of the top 4 priorities, use and access to technology accounts for 2 of them.

STAFF SURVEY LAST QUESTION: ANY ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS FOR THIS SURVEY?

There were a total of 341 respondents to the survey. This question sought to have the respondent give any additional comments or thoughts as they saw fit. The results were reviewed and placed into 1 of 35 themes. The top 10 themes with tabulations listed below:

13

Methacton is great

11

Clear vision is needed

9

Math program needs improvement

8

Include teachers in decisions

7

Administration needs improvement

5

RtII needs development/improvement

5

Improve professional development program/in-service schedule

5

Career education

5

Elementary gifted program needs improvement

5

Facilities maintenance

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