A community engagement survey sent home to the parents of county school students in November and December reveals that most parents either didn't get the survey—or didn't bother to fill it out.
According to an Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) press release, more than 12,530 parents, representing 20,500 students or 27 percent of the total student body, filled out the 2011-2012 survey, a decrease of 6 percent from a year ago.
Among the 11 survey questions, the first five asked:
- In general, how satisfied are you with Anne Arundel County Public Schools?
- When I visit my child's school, I am promptly and courteously received.
- In general, how satisfied are/were you with your child's school?
- My child feels safe at school.
- I am well informed about events and activities occurring at my child's school.
Here are the results for Edgewater-Davidsonville schools:
Central Elementary: Enrollment 796—267 completed surveys.
Davidsonville Elementary: Enrollment 589—136 completed surveys.
Edgewater Elementary: Enrollment 479—263 completed surveys.
Mayo Elementary: Enrollment 292—7 completed surveys.
Central Middle: Enrollment 1,097—134 completed surveys.
Southern Middle: Enrollment 786—37 completed surveys.
Southern High: Enrollment 1,098—53 completed surveys.
South River High: Enrollment 2,191—16 completed surveys.
Edgewater Elementary had the highest percentage of surveys completed, with 54.9 percent. The region's average percentage of completion was only 12.4 percent with 913 surveys completed for 7,328 children.
"Our school system is proud of the lengths to which it goes to help ensure the safety of our students and staff in our 120-plus facilities. We maintain outstanding relationships with county and city police as well as other law enforcement and governmental agencies, and collaborate daily on issues that arise," said Bob Mosier, spokesman for AACO schools in an email to Patch.
"The regular security drills conducted in all of our schools are designed not only to reinforce security procedures for staff in case of emergencies, but to prepare students for such situations in the rare event they occur. We also rely on students, parents and community residents to be vigilant and alert us to potential dangers when they evolve in our neighborhoods," he said.
"In past surveys, our parents have overwhelmingly stated that they feel their children are safe in our schools. The tragedy in Ohio is one that every parent and school system dreads. No safety plan is guaranteed to work in every instance every time, but we continue to use the feedback and input from our partners to enhance the measures in place to help protect our students and employees," said Mosier.
According to the release, the survey was available in four languages, and respondents had the option of completing it online or filling out paper copies.
The survey, conducted since the 2008-2009 school year, is used to gauge whether schools are welcoming, family friendly, and communicate to parents about programs and activities effectively, according to the release.
The results are used to judge progress on community engagement goals in the system’s Strategic Plan, which runs through the end of this school year.
Although the response represented only a quarter of the school population, Kevin Maxwell, superintendent, said in a press release: “Creating safe, supportive, and welcoming learning environments where parents have the opportunity to be key partners in the education of their children is critical to the success of our students. This survey shows we are doing a good job, but there is more work to be done.”
A summary of the results for the county, each cluster, and individual schools can be found on the school system’s website at www.aacps.org/surveyresults.