Parents: one week left to take school climate survey

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School —The Martha's Vineyard Times

Parents of Vineyard public school students have until next Friday to respond to an annual school climate survey that will inform administration about perceptions of school environments.

The United States Department of Education’s school climate survey was emailed to parents two weeks ago. The anonymous survey, available in English and Portuguese, allows parents to give feedback on their children’s school experience and is intended to take 15 to 20 minutes. 

“We will use responses to actually look to improve the way we communicate, the way we support our children,” school superintendent Richie Smith said of the survey. “One of the things we want to do is strengthen the partnership between our schools and parents.”

Parents will be able to give feedback on many aspects of their children’s schooling, such as instruction, physical and mental health, and respect for diversity and cultures.

The school climate survey is sent to parents every year, but this year it will also be collected for the district’s ongoing equity audit. The audit — conducted in partnership with the national educational nonprofit, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium — will review public schools policies, programs and practices for fairness toward students of all backgrounds. 

Along with parents’ responses, school staff have already taken equity audit surveys, and the national nonprofit will conduct focus groups to gather input from students.

Smith says the results of the equity audit process will be made public this fall, after which school staff will work toward any improvements based on the feedback received. This summer, the district cabinet — district leadership and school principals — will be the first to view the results of the equity audit process at their yearly summer retreat.