DCS using survey to gauge needs


Delaware City Schools is using a survey this school year to gather data about students’ social emotional wellness.

Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath said Wednesday the district has been using the Panoramic Education platform to survey students and ask them about their social emotional wellness, as well as teacher culture and climate in the schools. Heath said many districts in central Ohio use Panorama to survey their students and teachers, adding Panorama allows the district to customize the survey to fit its needs.

“Social emotional health is one of the main areas we have focused on with our students this year,” Heath said. “We know that if the students do not feel safe, comfortable and secure, the learning will not be at the level we expect in Delaware City Schools. This tool will allow us to identify the areas in our district and in our buildings where support is needed to help create the best learning environment for our students.”

Toby West, the district’s data coordinator, said DCS was able to choose a number of topics for the survey and focused on social awareness, learning strategies, self-efficacy, emotion regulation, teacher-student relationships, and sense of belonging.

“We felt the feedback on these topics would be most beneficial to us in understanding what actions we could take to grow our students in their social-emotional learning, as well as improve the learning environments for all,” West said. “A few of my favorite questions include a sense of belonging question: ‘How well do people at your school understand you as a person?;’a learning strategies question: ‘How sure are you that you can figure out a good way to get your schoolwork done well;’ and a teacher-student relationships question: ‘How respectful is your teacher towards you?’”

West said the feedback the district is looking for is “multi-faceted.”

“We want to examine the data from a lens of diversity and equity to better understand how the experiences of our various student populations may differ,” she said. “We will use the data to look for ways to improve our overall district and school culture. We can also use the student data to know what social-emotional learning opportunities would benefit individual students, small groups of students and schools. We believe that by better understanding where our students are in their social-emotional learning journey, we can help them grow and be more successful academically as well.”

Heath said the district conducted a survey in the fall, and the data is bringing “broad ideas” on how to move forward into focus.

“For example, our data show that our students have a strong sense of belonging in our buildings and have developed relationships with their teachers that drive them to succeed,” he said. “However, we are seeing some lower scores in student self-efficacy. This is showing us that we need to instill more confidence in our students in the ways they approach various learning, social, and behavioral situations.”

Heath hopes the second round of data from the spring survey will help the district see trends and develop adjustments to meet student needs.

“These results will also allow us to reflect on our goals as a district as we approach our strategic planning process again,” Heath said. “Social-emotional learning will always be a priority for us, but now we will have data to guide our goals, strategies, and action plans in the future.”

Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath looks over data from the student survey with Toby West (not pictured), the district’s data coordinator.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2021/01/web1_School-survey.jpgAssistant Superintendent Craig Heath looks over data from the student survey with Toby West (not pictured), the district’s data coordinator. Jennifer Ruhe | Delaware City Schools

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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