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Highlights of Strategic Plan Survey Results

Filed in Archive by on February 9, 2018

Between December 6, 2017 and January 5, 2018, more than 2,000 stakeholders in the Bethlehem Central School District completed a survey aimed at guiding the work of the district’s Strategic Planning Committee. Highlights of the responses collected can be found below.


Staff survey highlights

Overall, how satisfied are you with the Bethlehem Central School district?

  • 95% of staff surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with the school district.
  • 4% of staff surveyed are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the school district.
  • 1% shared no opinion

During your time in the Bethlehem schools, do you think the quality of education has improved, stayed the same or declined?

  • 83% of staff surveyed think the quality of education has improved or stayed the same.
  • 9% of staff surveyed think the quality of education has declined.
  • 8% shared no opinion

Comments:

These were some of the most repeated comments.

  • Many respondents who answered ”same” explained that the quality of education was “still excellent.”
  • Improving in some areas, declining in others.
  • With a focus on ELA & math, there has been a decline in social studies and science.
  • Plenty of opportunities at BC for students to succeed.
  • Teachers are trying to meet higher standards, but students sometimes are unprepared for rigor, making it difficult.
  • Mixed responses about role of technology when evaluating quality of education.
  • Investment in teachers is key ingredient for quality education.

How satisfied are you with how the school district…

The following answers are displayed by weighted average, in descending order. Due to rounding, not all answers will add to 100%.

Prepares students for college:

  • Very dissatisfied – 1%
  • Dissatisfied – 3%
  • Satisfied – 38%
  • Very satisfied – 50%
  • N/A – 8%

Communicates with community members:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 1%
  • Satisfied – 46%
  • Very satisfied – 45%
  • N/A – 5%

Plans for the district’s future:

  • Very dissatisfied – 1%
  • Dissatisfied – 6%
  • Satisfied – 62%
  • Very satisfied – 25%
  • N/A – 5%

Prepares students for careers:

  • Very dissatisfied – 1%
  • Dissatisfied – 12%
  • Satisfied – 46%
  • Very satisfied – 29%
  • N/A – 11%

Addresses students’ social/emotional needs:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 11%
  • Satisfied – 50%
  • Very satisfied – 32%
  • N/A – 4%

Maintains facilities:

  • Very dissatisfied – 4%
  • Dissatisfied – 14%
  • Satisfied – 59%
  • Very satisfied – 23%
  • N/A – 0%

Regarding the student experience, what should the District’s key areas of focus be in the coming years?

Respondents were asked to prioritize each of the following 17 categories. The answers are ranked by weighted average, in descending order: 

  1. Quality of teaching staff
  2. Preparing students with life skills
  3. Students’ social/emotional development
  4. Respect for cultural and individual differences
  5. Rigorous academic program
  6. Hands-on/Project-based learning experiences
  7. Aligning curriculum & instruction to job market
  8. Addressing achievement gaps between subgroups of students
  9. Individualized/differentiated education for each child
  10. Access to cutting-edge technology
  11. Collaboration with community partners/programs
  12. Extracurricular opportunities
  13. Community service opportunities
  14. More flexible scheduling of school day
  15. Global/international learning experiences
  16. Online learning experiences
  17. Student achievement on standardized tests

What skills and qualities should a BCSD graduate possess?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Solid academic skills.
  • Skills to engage in meaningful work.
  • Communications skills, both verbal and written.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Life skills, including financial literacy.
  • Perseverance & resiliency.
  • Independence and self-advocacy.
  • Good citizenship.

What would your hopes and dreams be for a student learning the Bethlehem Central School District?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Prepared for the next stage of life.
  • Productive member of society.
  • Well-rounded, happy and kind.
  • Possesses self-confidence and self-worth.
  • Leaves BC with a lifelong love of learning.
  • Empathetic.
  • Globally aware.

Please identify what, if any, student program you would like to see improved, added or changed in the Bethlehem Central School District.

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • More emphasis on students’ social-emotional skills & needs.
  • Expanded opportunities/career pathways for students who may not be suited for college.
  • More academic structure for “kids in the middle.”
  • Life skills education for students, including financial literacy.
  • Greater hands-on learning opportunities for students.
  • More emphasis on student self-responsibility.
  • Take a closer look at needs of SESS students.

Student survey highlights

Overall, how satisfied are you with the Bethlehem Central School district?

  • 79% of students surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with the school district.
  • 12% of students surveyed are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the school district.
  • 9% shared no opinion

During your time in the Bethlehem schools, do you think the quality of education has improved, stayed the same or declined?

  • 82% of students surveyed think the quality of education has improved or stayed the same.
  • 9% of students surveyed think the quality of education has declined.
  • 9% shared no opinion

Comments:

These were some of the most repeated comments.

  • Not much has changed, it is still good.
  • Chromebooks are an improvement.
  • Some teachers are better than others.

How satisfied are you with how the school district…

The following answers are displayed by weighted average, in descending order. Due to rounding, not all answers will add to 100%.

Prepares students for college:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 10%
  • Satisfied – 52%
  • Very satisfied – 23%
  • N/A – 12%

Communicates with community members:

  • Very dissatisfied – 5%
  • Dissatisfied – 10%
  • Satisfied – 52%
  • Very satisfied – 21%
  • N/A – 12%

Maintains facilities:

  • Very dissatisfied – 5%
  • Dissatisfied – 12%
  • Satisfied – 55%
  • Very satisfied – 20%
  • N/A – 8%

Plans for the district’s future:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 11%
  • Satisfied – 55%
  • Very satisfied – 13%
  • N/A – 18%

Prepares students for careers:

  • Very dissatisfied – 5%
  • Dissatisfied – 19%
  • Satisfied – 49%
  • Very satisfied – 17%
  • N/A – 10%

Addresses students’ social/emotional needs:

  • Very dissatisfied – 9%
  • Dissatisfied – 18%
  • Satisfied – 44%
  • Very satisfied – 20%
  • N/A – 9%

Regarding the student experience, what should the District’s key areas of focus be in the coming years?

Respondents were asked to prioritize each of the following 17 categories. The answers are ranked by weighted average, in descending order: 

  1. Preparing students with life skills
  2. Quality of teaching staff
  3. Respect for cultural and individual differences
  4. More flexible scheduling of school day
  5. Extracurricular opportunities
  6. Hands-on/Project-based learning experiences
  7. Access to cutting-edge technology
  8. Students’ social/emotional development
  9. Individualized/differentiated education for each child
  10. Aligning curriculum & instruction to job market
  11. Global/international learning experiences
  12. Rigorous academic program
  13. Student achievement on standardized tests
  14. Community service opportunities
  15. Collaboration with community partners/programs
  16. Addressing achievement gaps between subgroups of students
  17. Online learning experiences

What skills and qualities should a BCSD graduate possess?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Intelligent.
  • Prepared for life outside of school.
  • Independent.
  • Kind and respectful.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Basic financial, life skills.
  • Social skills and social awareness.
  • Informed of happenings in the world around them.

What would your hopes and dreams be for a student learning the Bethlehem Central School District?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Go to college.
  • Get a good job.
  • Be independent.
  • Be prepared for college or career.
  • Have a happy life.
  • Follow their dreams.

Please identify what, if any, student program you would like to see improved, added or changed in the Bethlehem Central School District.

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Offer more languages.
  • Increase arts programs, especially music opportunities.
  • Address inconsistency in teacher quality.
  • Offer more extracurriculars, clubs and sports.
  • Improve English Language Arts (ELA).
  • Offer more real-world classes like economics.
  • Alternatives to Physical Education.

Community survey highlights

Overall, how satisfied are you with the Bethlehem Central School district?

  • 90% of community members surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with the school district.
  • 9% of community members surveyed are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the school district.
  • 1% shared no opinion

During your time in the Bethlehem schools, do you think the quality of education has improved, stayed the same or declined?

  • 86% of community members surveyed think the quality of education has improved or stayed the same.
  • 11% of community members surveyed think the quality of education has declined.
  • 3% shared no opinion

Comments:

These were some of the most repeated comments.

  • Reputation has always been strong, and continues.
  • Too much testing of students.
  • Some teachers and programs are better than others.
  • More effort needed to meet individual needs of students, including SESS.

How satisfied are you with how the school district…

The following answers are displayed by weighted average, in descending order. Due to rounding, not all answers will add to 100%.

Prepares students for college:

  • Very dissatisfied – 2%
  • Dissatisfied – 7%
  • Satisfied – 43%
  • Very satisfied – 29%
  • N/A – 19%

Maintains facilities:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 9%
  • Satisfied – 60%
  • Very satisfied – 28%
  • N/A – 1%

Communicates with community members:

  • Very dissatisfied – 4%
  • Dissatisfied – 11%
  • Satisfied – 60%
  • Very satisfied – 11%
  • N/A – 16%

Plans for the district’s future:

  • Very dissatisfied – 2%
  • Dissatisfied – 11%
  • Satisfied – 60%
  • Very satisfied – 11%
  • N/A – 16%

Prepares students for careers:

  • Very dissatisfied – 3%
  • Dissatisfied – 13%
  • Satisfied – 46%
  • Very satisfied – 14%
  • N/A – 24%

Addresses students’ social/emotional needs:

  • Very dissatisfied – 7%
  • Dissatisfied – 17%
  • Satisfied – 52%
  • Very satisfied – 18%
  • N/A – 6%

Regarding the student experience, what should the District’s key areas of focus be in the coming years?

Respondents were asked to prioritize each of the following 17 categories. The answers are ranked by weighted average, in descending order: 

  1. Quality of teaching staff
  2. Preparing students with life skills
  3. Hands-on/Project-based learning experiences
  4. Students’ social/emotional development
  5. Rigorous academic program
  6. Respect for cultural and individual differences
  7. Aligning curriculum & instruction to job market
  8. Access to cutting-edge technology
  9. Individualized/differentiated education for each child
  10. Extracurricular opportunities
  11. Addressing achievement gaps between subgroups of students
  12. Collaboration with community partners/programs
  13. More flexible scheduling of school day
  14. Community service opportunities
  15. Global/international learning experiences
  16. Student achievement on standardized tests
  17. Online learning experiences

What skills and qualities should a BCSD graduate possess?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Be college- and/or career-ready.
  • Life skills, including financial literacy.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Communications skills, written and verbal.
  • Community-minded.
  • Compassion for others.
  • Determination, grit.

What would your hopes and dreams be for a student learning the Bethlehem Central School District?

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Prepared to engage in a future of their choice.
  • Confidence, self-worth.
  • Life-long learners.
  • Well-rounded.
  • Good people.
  • Happy.
  • A sense of balance.
  • Critical thinkers.

Please identify what, if any, student program you would like to see improved, added or changed in the Bethlehem Central School District.

The following represent some of the most repeated comments from respondents.

  • Focus on real-life skills.
  • Start school later at HS, earlier at elementary schools.
  • More career exploration, alternate pathways for students not interested in college.
  • More project-based learning.
  • Alleviate pressure on students.
  • Improve ELA.
  • More focus on social-emotional learning and services for students.
  • More afterschool enrichment and club activities.
  • Less focus on technology.
  • Offer more foreign language opportunities.