Results are back from a community phone survey conducted by Salina Public Schools this fall. The statistically reliable sample size included 300 randomly selected adults who were head of household and balanced by geographic location.
According to the USD 305 School District, participants had the opportunity to provide feedback about district services, identify district strengths and areas for improvement and more. The community survey, administered by ExcellenceK12, a Kansas City-based market research firm, helps the district better understand community members’ perceptions of SPS. “We greatly value and actively seek the community’s input about their priorities and concerns,” said Linn Exline, superintendent at SPS. “Community feedback ensures that our schools remain aligned with community expectations and provide an education that truly serves the needs of our families.”
Results were shared at the December 12 Board of Education meeting. Rick Nobles, president of ExcellenceK12, told board members that overall, the data revealed solid scores on the grading questions. Areas that received the highest scores were:
- Quality of school facilities
- Performance of teachers
- Safety of students
- Quality of education
Additionally, top results listed by participants of district strengths included: “don’t know”, “provides a good education” and “teachers/staff.” Teachers and staff have surfaced as a top strength in past surveys as well. “We are very proud of our teachers’ caring and expert work with students,” said Exline. “Their dedication is key to nurture each student’s potential.”
Results about areas needing improvement included “don’t know”, “budget” and “communication with patrons.”
The survey asked participants what the district’s top priority should be. “Providing a good education” topped the list with “teaching life/practical skills” second and “retaining/hiring good teachers/staff” coming in third.
Other results included participants’ views of the SPS workplace with 81% indicating it is an excellent or good place to work. The topics they would like to hear more about from the school include:
- Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Bolstering school safety
- Preparation for college, career or military
Participants’ awareness of SPS programs and activities such as CTE, clubs, athletics, academic competitions and fine arts was surveyed. Ninety-three percent said they were very aware or somewhat aware. Seventy-two percent were very aware or somewhat aware of elementary schools’ specials programs such as physical education, art, band, orchestra and library time with certified media specialists.
Ninety-three percent of the phone survey participants rated the concept of expanding early childhood education as very important or somewhat important.
Survey results help inform district plans, communications and projects. “We are grateful to everyone who took the time to participate,” added Exline. “Our schools are a fine example of community partnerships in Salina. Together, we make SPS a great place to learn and work.”