Survey Reveals Awareness of District Initiatives,Support

Results are back from a survey conducted by Salina Public Schools this past October. The statistically reliable sample size included 300 randomly selected adults who were head of household and balanced by geographic location.

According to the district, participants had the opportunity to provide feedback about district services, identify district strengths and areas for improvement, share concerns, rate the relevance of district goals and more. The community survey, administered by ExcellenceK12, a Kansas City-based market research firm, helped the district better understand community members’ perceptions of SPS. “Salina Public Schools belongs to the community,” said Linn Exline, superintendent at USD 305. “Feedback about the goals, priorities and community concerns help keep the district aligned with community expectations.”

Results were shared at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Rick Nobles, president of ExcellenceK12, told board members that overall, the data revealed some terrific scores on the grading questions. Areas that received the highest scores were:

  • Quality of school facilities
  • Performance of teachers
  • Preparation of students for college, career/technical training or employment
  • Quality of education
  • Performance of school principals
  • Safety of students
  • District’s efforts to communicate with patrons
  • Value received for the tax dollars spent

Additionally, teachers topped the list of strengths based on an open-ended question. “We are incredibly proud of our teachers’ caring, expert and professional work with students,” said Exline.

The survey asked about the relevancy of the three long-term goals that are a part of the Strategic Plan, adopted in 2020. Derived from community input during strategic planning sessions, the goals aim to build students’ skills:

  • Critical thinking (math, science, social studies)
  • Communication (reading, writing, listening, speaking)
  • Social-emotional learning

Ninety-nine percent of the phone survey participants considered the goals to be very relevant or somewhat relevant.

Other results included participants’ view of SPS as a workplace. Eighty-four percent indicated it was an excellent or good place to work. When asked what participants would like to hear more about from the school, top answers were:

  • School safety measures
  • Future district/school plans
  • Success stories of students and staff

Survey results are being incorporated into district plans. A school safety information campaign has launched, including a series of videos hosted by Exline. Work on the Strategic Plan goals continues with implementation of Project Based Learning, a strategy to harness the power of classroom teaching to meet the three learning goals. In 2023, measures will be in place to monitor student performance and growth toward the goals.

“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.”