(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity
(844) 627-8267 | Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Violence in Middletown schools among top concerns, survey shows | #schoolsaftey

MIDDLETOWN — Results of the 2022-23 Middletown Public Schools climate and culture survey indicate that incidents of violence, disciplinary issues and overwhelmed teachers are top concerns among students, staff and families.

These anonymous surveys produced data based on the responses of 929 families, 376 district employees and 1,796 students — 300 more than last year — according to a presentation at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting delivered by Paul Griswold, director of assessment, professional development and instruction.

The past quarter’s survey of teachers, students in grades three to twelve, and families, ran from late April to early June. 

These are intended to provide a gauge of school life, as well as gather information related to the MPS improvement plan, Superintendent of Schools Alberto Vázquez Matos told the board.

It will take some time to process the latest data into a final report, since results up to June 13 were presented, Griswold told board members.

Surveys, conducted a few times during the academic year, are voluntary, and include the same questions in order to track changes and growth from year to year, Griswold said. 

About on-third of families said that they’re almost always worried about violence and fights at the schools, which occur most often at the middle and high schools. 

Additionally, 21 percent responded frequently, 19 percent said sometimes; 14 percent, once in a while; and 15 percent said almost never.

School violence is of national concern, Griswold said.

Positive marks were given to the schools, such as them being welcoming, and having “amazing teachers,” according to the presentation.

Sixty-eight percent of students responded that they feel highly supported by adults in the schools, while 32 percent gave favorable ratings.

In the well-being category, staff reported they are largely excited to go to work, “and quite overwhelmingly feel their work matters and has meaning,” Griswold said. In all, 96 percent gave favorable ratings.

When it comes to instances of violence, recent disturbances include a 50-person altercation involving athletes and adults during a Jan. 17 boys varsity basketball game with Weaver High School athletes. Several individuals, including students, later were arrested. 

There were also a number of fights, including one at the Beman Middle School cafeteria in April, two at the high school in January, and others last April. 

District officials are addressing these issues through restorative efforts and other internal measures with improving results, they have said.

Staff also were asked about what they would change about conditions: 40 percent said student behavior; 34 percent replied professional culture; 24 percent, leadership and effectiveness; staffing and school environment both were 15 percent; communications, 12 percent; and professional development, 10 percent.

With changes, one employee responded, “the school would be a lot more positive and the sense of community among staff members would be stronger.”

When asked about the most positive aspects of working in the district, 38 percent said staff; 36 percent said professional culture; and students, 30 percent. Lower ratings were given to employee relationships, school environment and student relationships. 

Families were asked what they like best about a particular school.

“Everything! The environment, staff and sense of community are all reasons to love the school,” one said, while another commented “the principal’s and teachers’ commitment to their goal of providing a quality education for my two children.” 

By way of comparison, results of last May’s survey showed that more than half of teachers and staff favorably reviewed the district. In July 2022, findings revealed just 12 percent of Middletown students said they were excited about school.

This academic year, there was a high percentage of unfavorable ratings (51 percent) related to the schools’ approach to discipline, Griswold said. 

In all, 82 percent of teachers reported that they know all the information needed to conduct classes, and an equal number said they have confidence in having productive conversations with parents, according to the data.

However, Griswold reported, “the perception of the work environment largely is not positive. … Teachers report feeling stressed, as well as exhausted and overwhelmed.”

Also, staff reported they are largely excited to go to work, “and quite overwhelmingly feel their work matters and has meaning,” he added.

When students were asked how excited they were to attend class, only 31 percent responded positively, according to the data. Younger students reported being more eager than secondary school students, Griswold said, but, “I don’t think that’s unique to Middletown, but something we want to find ways to excite our secondary students.”

Board member Delita Rose-Daniels told the schools chief that she would like to see these surveys being conducted earlier in the academic year. “We are a district that centers student voice. They hold a lot of the answers,” she added.

“It’s important for the board and community to hear from the folks who are spending eight hours alongside these educators in the classrooms to give us the feedback that might hold the key to some of the solutions were are aimlessly looking for,” Rose-Daniels said.

Capturing student experiences are instrumental to the data, Vázquez Matos said.

“I think it’s critical, especially at a board meeting, if there was something pressing then that’s something the board and community would want to know so we can walk alongside the district to develop opportunities for improvement where all voices are heard going forward,” Daniels said.

Vázquez Matos pledged to look at ways to present the data to the board sooner in the future.

The full report will soon be posted at bit.ly/3PfkQvp.

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security