The administration will ask students and parents to evaluate school programs through online questionnaires that will help the school to understand where it should be headed in the next ten years, said Head of School Barbara Wagner.
The Strategic Planning Committee, which consists of Wagner, Assistant Head of School Laura Hotchkiss, Dean of Faculty Martha Schuur, and the Board of Trustees, will use the results from the surveys as one of the factors that will help map out the school’s next Strategic Plan.
“The survey is trying to assess where students and parents find value in the school,” Hotchkiss said. “We’re also asking what the school should give more value to.”
The survey will ask about core academics, co-curricular electives, extra-curriculars, teachers, administrators, culture and community, personal development, and college counseling. Parents will also be asked their opinion on school communications, volunteer programs, and cost and affordability.
For each of the sections, students and parents will be asked to rate the strength of their opinions on questions on a scale of one to seven. They can also write a general comments.
The committee will consider not only the student and parent input, but also ideas from board and faculty meetings as it finalizes the Strategic Plan by December 2010.
All the pieces of the survey “help inform and direct how we write that plan and move forward,” Hotchkiss said. Overall, the survey “determines what the initiatives are going to be for the next ten years.”
Pacific Consulting Group met with four student and parent focus groups, faculty, and administrators last January to design the survey. The consulting group will have the survey results completed by the end of the current school year.
Parents will receive the surveys via e-mail today, and students will fill them out the second week after spring break, Hotchkiss said.
Computers will be set up in the Academic Resource Center, and students will have to complete the surveys during their free time.
Each parent and student will have a unique identification number that will guarantee his or her anonymity.
The school will also ask alumnae for their input. However, the survey will be more qualitative than quantitative, and it will ask alumnae for opinions on a deeper level, Wagner said.