This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Survey Says...!

The results of the strategic planning survey are now posted on the district's website.  The survey was conducted earlier this fall, and includes responses from over 3000 community residents, staff members, and students on the effectiveness and relative importance of the district's services.

Items covered in the survey include student achievement, academic programs, school operations, student support, and school culture. Items identified as most critical for the strategic plan include.
  • Closing the Achievement Gap
  • Math and Science Proficiency
  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention
  • Professional Development for Teachers
  • Class Size
  • Extra Help for Students Who Have Difficulty with Schoolwork
  • Diversity Awareness and Appreciation
The survey results are being used in the district's ongoing strategic planning process, which is currently being conducted.

11/16 UPDATE: Today's Salem News has a good overview of the survey results, and highlights the vast disparity of opinion between students, and their parents, particularly when asked what areas were most important.
Parents, teachers and students were also asked to rate the importance of each area. Overall, the vast majority of respondents — more than 80 percent on average for all 27 categories — thought Beverly schools were either "effective" or "extremely effective." Most parents (68 percent) and staff (72 percent) also thought areas such as math and science proficiency and class size were "highly important." The majority of students did not. In averaging each of the 27 categories, only 44 percent of Beverly students considered the issues "highly important," according to the survey.

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