School districts exist to serve their communities. When they do it well, everybody—not just kids, teachers and parents, but every member of the community—benefits from students who are better prepared for the real world and better able to make positive contributions to it. To figure out how well they’re accomplishing this task, however, districts need to be engaged with the community, including listening to and addressing its concerns. In the past this has meant meetings with school staff, parents and other concerned citizens in the school gym. While those in-person get-togethers are still important, we now have better tools for the job as well.
In the case of Loomis School District (SD), district leaders wanted to learn what it was doing well and where it had room for improvement on school-by-school and district-wide bases. The K–8 public school district in Placer County, CA has 275 employees, 3,000 students and seven schools. Knowing that test scores alone cannot measure the success of a district, Loomis used basic digital surveys to gather feedback from community stakeholders but found it difficult to dive deep into the data they gathered. So they turned instead to IBM Kenexa Survey Advantage Engagement on Cloud to create, conduct and derive insights from surveys.
The every-other-year surveys have already helped the school district identify and implement new programs desired by parents such as Spanish classes across all grades and more support for vulnerable students with social and emotional challenges. Employees have been able to make their voices heard as well: “Based on the results,” said Superintendent Gordon Medd, “we have made large investments in upgrading and redecorating facilities such as offices and kitchens—helping to make the district a better place to work.”
What the latest surveys revealed was encouraging: satisfaction among all respondents averaged 85 percent, indicating to Loomis SD leaders that they were on the right track with their ongoing effort to improve services to its community.
To learn more about how Loomis Union School District engaged with parents, teachers and employees to build first-class learning experiences, click here.
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