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June 3, 2015 - 8:58am

Batavia City School District holds 'Data Café' to reveal community survey results

posted by Traci Turner in batavia, community, education, City Schools, schools.

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Diane Reed with a group of faculty and members from the community.

The Family Engagement Survey results from 2014 were presented at the Batavia High School Library during their "Data Café" Tuesday night.

Diane Reed, Ph.D., the Batavia City School District’s outside educational expert and associate professor in Educational Leadership at St. John Fisher College, shared the data from the community survey taken by families and other Batavia residents last fall. Reed is certified by the New York State Education Department to work with Focus Districts to help determine school effectiveness and discuss strategic plans with faculty and community members to improve it.

The community survey is one of three that make up the Data Triangle Survey. It was based on six tenets to measure effectiveness which include District Leadership and Capacity, School Leader Practices and Decisions, Curriculum Development and Support, Teacher Practices and Decisions, Student Social and Emotional Developmental Health, and Family and Community Engagement. The survey was composed of 50 statements and participants answered using a Likert scale. The total number of people who took the survey was 374. According to Reed; the low response rate is typical.

The overall data total results for the district showed that 75 percent or more of participants answered each of the 22 statements with either strongly agree or agree. These results are considered an asset.

For each of the other 28 statements, 50 to 74 percent of participants answered strongly agree or agree. These results are considered an emerging strength.

The overall data total results for the district also revealed no fewer than 50 percent of participants answered strongly agree or agree to any of the statements. These results show no possible risks for the district.

When breaking the statement results up by schools, the Batavia High School showed minimal possible risks.

“The Batavia City School District should be very proud because many responses are in the green asset area,” Reed said. “It is not too often with schools I work with to show strengths in a lot of the areas.”

Faculty members and parents divided into two groups to discuss the district’s strengths and weaknesses based on the survey results. Both groups came to the conclusion the district could improve on providing the community with more training on Common Core learning and positive engagement with students outside the classroom.

Jean Berry, mother of two boys who attend Batavia Middle School and Batavia High School, really enjoyed how teachers sent home postcards when her children were doing well in school. One suggestion she had was to use lexiles -- reading level measurements -- more effectively.

“When we have the Scholastic Book Fair, the books should be labeled with lexiles so I can buy the appropriate books for my sons’ reading level,” Berry said.

Moving forward, the district will consider hosting additional Common Core informational nights to help the community understand the standards especially at the secondary level. They also will encourage teachers to make positive calls home to help motivate students. 

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