In March of 2020, the Ames Community School District surveyed students, staff, and families using the Panorama Culture and Climate Survey. The survey included questions around social and emotional learning, school satisfaction, and staff and family engagement, among others. New to this year’s student 6-12 survey were questions related to equity and inclusion. The purpose of the survey is to gather perception data from key stakeholders as a way to set and continue the evaluation of specific goal areas around the District’s Purpose and Priorities.
Earlier this month, building and District administrators and teachers had a first look at the results. On Monday, June 15, District results were presented to the school board. We are now sharing a direct link with our families and community to District level results to the following surveys:
- Student Survey (Classroom Level) – grades 3-5
- Student Supports and Environment (Equity) – grades 6-12
- Teacher Feedback Survey
- Family-School Relationship Survey
The Panorama Survey results can be found at https://pan-ed.com/amescsdsurveys
In the results, each survey has a summary section that illustrates the percentage of respondents who surveyed “favorable” to the questions and topics. Panorama also compares to how those scores benchmark nationally. Because this is the second year of administering the survey, we are also able to note the change to last year’s results, with the exception of the new equity-related survey questions.
Response rate – The Panorama survey was opened in March but was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent school closure. As a result, family participation was down compared to last year (953 family members in 2019 compared to 694 in 2020). The secondary student results are mostly from Ames Middle School as the high school was scheduled to administer the survey after spring break. Staff participation was up 12% compared to a year ago.
District Goals – Panorama survey data is used on a number of District goals around our Purpose and Priorities. Broad topics are identified in the survey that are composed of multiple questions. The chart below shows the broad topic areas with those in orange being related to District goals.
Insight #1 – Sense of belonging – The biggest positive improvement within Sense of Belonging is related to 6-12 grade students who feel that people at their school understand them better than they did last year. This topic is related to secondary students and is up 7 points of those who responded favorably.
Insight #2 – Classroom Belonging – This area is similar to the Sense of Belonging topic, but is related to elementary school students. Up 5 points, this area is also above the national average.
Insight #3 – Classroom Engagement – One aspect of classroom engagement where students feel especially positive about is their engagement when it comes to classroom activities. Up 3 points from a year ago, it also scores above the national average.
Insight #4 – Teachers & Staff Feedback and Coaching – We’ve seen positive growth in teacher and staff perception of both the amount and quality of feedback they receive. Up 4 points for feedback and 13 points for coaching, these scores are great to see with an increased staff participation rate for this year. The subset question of How useful do you find the feedback you receive on your work? was up 19 points.
Insight #5 – Family Engagement – The data shows that around 20% of families feel connected to the school. On the surface, this number does not feel great when reviewing data, but it is on par with national averages on this topic. Our largest area of growth were in the questions around family members visiting our schools.
Insight #6 – Family Communication – Families are increasingly understanding how to best communicate with their schools. This is one of the few District goal areas that is especially written around a question and not a topic area.
To support transparency and to create a culture of feedback, we encourage our families and community to review the data on their own. We want to thank everyone who was able to participate in the survey this year. The data provides us with important feedback that allows us to better understand school climate and culture in our schools and District.