Release Date: 6/17/2014
Contact: Office of Communications, 410-887-5908

40,000+ Speak Up in BCPS Survey

Parents Commend Blueprint 2.0 Progress

TOWSON, MD. – What’s the sound of 40,542 voices? For Baltimore County Public Schools, it’s the sound of a strong affirmation of community input and support -- the results of the 2014 BCPS Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey.

The annual survey had drawn about 500 responses in recent years, but this year, overall participation soared 800 percent, which included students in Grades 4-12, parents/guardians, community members, school-based staff and administrators and central office staff.

“I’m thrilled to hear from so many stakeholders representing all facets of Team BCPS," said Superintendent S. Dallas Dance. “Every response we received adds to an ongoing conversation about what’s best to ensure equitable access to high-quality learning and to prepare globally competitive graduates. Schools thrive on this level of investment from the community."

The 2014 survey was built around the four goal areas of Blueprint 2.0, BCPS’ five-year strategic plan: academics, safety and security, communication and organizational effectiveness. In each area, the survey report released today highlights strengths and growth opportunities identified by survey respondents.

Stakeholders completed the survey online from February 5 through March 7, 2014, using computers or mobile devices. Principals played a critical role in increasing participation by promoting the importance of the survey to their school communities as well as providing opportunities to complete the survey in their buildings.

In addition to the summary of findings, the report provides an appendix with results by stakeholder group for every survey item. To access the report, please visit the We Are Team BCPS section of the BCPS home page (www.bcps.org).

Holabird Middle School Principal Julie Dellone expressed excitement about using survey findings to enhance instructional delivery. She added, “The survey will ensure community input into our school progress planning. Our teachers, students, parents and community are crucial members of Team BCPS."

Trés McMichael is a rising senior at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology and the newly-elected president of the Baltimore County Student Councils. "As a student you often feel that you do not get a voice in your education or that your opinion does not truly matter," he said. “The survey gave me a chance to honestly reflect on my education and to give suggestions on how I think it could be improved in the future."

Feedback on Blueprint 2.0 Goal One -- academics -- reflects BCPS’ shift toward personalizing instruction for every student with redesigned, digital curriculum to prepare students for postsecondary success. Among the findings:

  • Most parents/guardians agreed that their child’s school set high academic standards (88 percent), prepared their child for the next academic year (89 percent) and prepared students for college and career (81 percent).
  • Additional strengths included a strong student belief in the importance of education and overall stakeholder satisfaction with academic expectations and future preparation.
  • While elementary students were enthusiastic throughout the survey, they expressed a desire for more academic rigor.
  • Their high school peers said they would prefer more real-life relevance in their school work.
  • Staff and administrators at the school level saw room to increase peer collaboration during the school day as well as supports to meet student needs.

BCPS is modernizing the safety of teaching, learning and working environments as set forth in Blueprint 2.0’s second goal, and survey respondents generally expressed satisfaction with the results:

  • Mirroring satisfaction across stakeholder groups, 88 percent of parents reported that their child’s school is safe and secure. Awareness of how to handle emergencies was generally high, but parents said they need more information about procedures at their child’s school.
  • According to secondary students and school-based staff, additional areas for improvement were perceptions of fairness and respect.

The revamped survey is one example of prioritizing Goal Three -- communication. Areas highlighted by the survey included the following:

  • Nearly nine of 10 parents (88 percent) agreed that they felt welcome at school, knew how to get school information and understood school communications.
  • Another strength was student satisfaction with feedback from their teachers.
  • Recommendations emerged from the survey as well: School leaders should listen more to secondary students, advise students in Grades 4 through 8 about colleges and careers and give school-based staff opportunities to plan across grades and subjects.

Goal Four -- organizational effectiveness -- encompasses strategic efforts to improve schools and the system as a whole:

  • Among parents, 91 percent rated their child’s school as effective. Parent satisfaction with BCPS was 80 percent.
  • Students, staff and administrators echoed these strong ratings of school and BCPS performance, with employees characterizing their work environments as positive, professional and collaborative.
  • Despite strong school ratings, school pride registered low among secondary students.
  • Parents and community members indicated they would like to be more involved when solving school-based challenges.
  • Staff members asked for better access to instructional technology and relevant training.

Visit the BCPS News Center and BCPS News Archive to explore more BCPS news!

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