In March of 2022, 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. This was the fourth consecutive year that the District has utilized this survey. 

In April, building and District administrators had a first look at the results. On Monday, May 2nd, 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 and Staff Feedback Survey
  • Teacher and Staff Adult Socio-Emotional Learning Survey 
  • Family-School Relationship Survey

The Panorama Survey results can be found at 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 fourth of administering the survey, we are also able to note the change to previous years’ results.

Response rate – The Panorama survey was opened on February 28th for all stakeholders. More than 1,000 families responded to the survey, followed by more than 360 teachers and staff members, and more than 1,800 students. This response rate is slightly lower overall than last year, with the exception of elementary students which saw a slightly higher response rate. 

Purpose of this survey – 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. 

District Insights:

Insight #1 – Feedback and Coaching (teachers and staff) – 29% of ACSD teachers responded favorably to survey questions about feedback and coaching, a 1% decrease from the previous year. Questions such as “How often do you receive feedback on your teaching?” and “How much feedback do you receive on your teaching?” saw a slight increase in favorability from last year and questions such as “At your school, how thorough is the feedback you receive in covering all aspects of your role as a teacher?” and “How much feedback do you receive on your teaching?” saw a decrease from the previous year. This is an area we will continue to improve moving forward. 

Insight #2 – Cultural Awareness and Action (teachers and staff) – Overall, teachers, and staff responded positively to questions about cultural awareness and action with an adult focus within their buildings and the district as a whole, with a 62% favorability rating for staff (a slight decrease from last year) and a 63% favorability for teachers (which has held steady since last year). An area we aim to continue improving is cultural awareness and action with a student focus, as teachers responded to this topic with a 61% favorability rating (a 3-point increase from last year).

Insight #3 – Educating All Students (teachers) – One area that saw significant improvement from last year were questions for teachers relating to “Educating All Students” with a 6-point increase from the previous year, resulting in a 74% favorability rating. Questions such as “How comfortable would you be incorporating new material about people from different backgrounds into your curriculum” , “How easy would it be for you to teach a class with groups of students from very different religions from each other?”, and “When a sensitive issue of diversity arises in class, how easily can you think of strategies to address the situation?” all saw favorable responses increase at least 9 points from last year’s survey. Despite the high overall rating for this section, Ames is still within the 40th percentile on this topic nationally. 

Insight #4 – School Climate (students) – Elementary students responded to questions regarding school and classroom climate with a 65% favorability rating (an 11-point drop from last year), which compared to other schools of similar demographics nationwide, places us in the 60th percentile on this topic for elementary students. Secondary students responded to questions about school climate with a 35% favorability rating, showing a 15% decrease from the previous year. 

Insight #5 – Classroom Teacher-Student Relationships (students) – Favorable responses to questions about teacher and student relationships have decreased at both the elementary and secondary levels this year compared to last year. Elementary students responded to these questions with an 79% favorability rating, showing a 2% increase from the previous year and placing Ames in the 80th percentile compared to similar elementary systems nationwide. Secondary students rated questions in this topic with an average 55% favorability rating, and placing Ames Middle School in the 50th percentile and Ames High School in the 80th percentile compared to similar secondary systems nationwide. 

Insight #6 – Sense of Belonging (students) – This is an area we, along with districts across the country, have been striving to improve at the district and building level from the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Elementary schools responded to these questions (such as: “How connected do you feel to the teacher in this class?”) with an overall 57% favorability rating, showing a 10% decrease from the previous year and placing Ames elementary schools in the 10th percentile nationally. Secondary students responded to these questions (such as: “Overall, how much do you feel like you belong at your school?”) with an overall 32% favorability rating, showing a 6% decrease from the previous year and placing Ames secondary schools in the 10th percentile nationally. 

Insight #7 – Diversity and Inclusion (students) – Secondary students answer questions about diversity and inclusion in their annual climate and culture survey; this year, these questions had the highest favorability rating of any question set for Ames middle and high school students with 72% favorable overall. Questions such as “How fairly do students at your school treat people from different races, ethnicities, or cultures” (63% favorable) and “How fairly do adults at your school treat people from different races, ethnicities, or cultures” (71% favorable) saw sharp decreases from last year while questions such as “How often do you spend time at school with students from different races, ethnicities, or cultures?” (72% favorable) and “How often do you have classes with students from different racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds?” (84% favorable) saw measurable increases from last year. 

Insight #8 – School Climate (families) – Families responded to questions about school climate with an overall 57% favorability rating, which shows a 7% decrease from the previous Spring, placing Ames community school in the 20% percentile nationally. The question from this topic with the highest favorability rating was “Overall, how much respect do you think the teachers at your child’s school have for the children?” with 70% responding positively, and the question with the lowest favorability was “How motivating are the classroom lessons at your child’s school?” with a 43% favorability rating. 

Insight #9 – School Safety (families) – The survey topic for families that saw the largest decrease from last year was school safety, with a 62% favorability rating marking a 15% decrease from Spring 2021. As a trend, responses to these questions became less favorable moving from parents of students in early grades (92% favorable for parents of Pre-Kindergarten students) to later grades (55% favorable for parents of 6th grade students and 34% favorable from parents of 12th grade students).

Insight #10 – Family Engagement (families) – In accordance with our district priorities, an area we continue to seek improvement in is overcoming barriers to engagement for ACSD families. This year, families responded to questions in this topic area with an 78% favorability rating, marking a 3% loss from the previous year. However, responses to the “Family Engagement” section of our survey saw a 3% increase in favorable responses (from 13% to 16%). This is an area we will continue to improve moving forward.