RSF School survey results point to potential areas of improvement

At the Sept. 7 Rancho Santa Fe School District board meeting, Superintendent David Jaffe shared the results of a parent survey given at the end of the school year. Of the 259 respondents, Jaffe said the results showed “people are pretty darn happy” but there are areas they can look to improve.

The district scored highly with parents feeling their students were challenged by classes, that they felt safe in school, felt comfortable talking with teachers and that activities offered matched student interests — only .4 percent dislikes school immensely.

Jaffe said the areas where the mean response was lower and where there was a disparity on how people responded are the areas that they might want to take a look at, such as the areas of student discipline, character development and homework.

The question regarding homework had the greatest disparity in responses, asking whether parents feel the amount of homework given is appropriate and whether parents clearly saw the value of homework.

Parents also rated the quality of specific programs, with science rated the highest and Spanish and robotics rated the lowest.

Jaffe said in response to the survey results they will examine discipline practices, particularly at recess and on the playground, and evaluate curricular programs by identifying strengths and areas of growth. He said they would also encourage parent, staff and student participation in an analysis of homework policy and practice and that they can examine the district’s practices toward developing strong character.

Board member Sarah Neal said she was glad that they did the survey as it shows that the school is interested in parent input and board member Scott Kahn said it will be helpful to have the results as a benchmark to see how they improve on an annual basis.

“I hope the takeaway is that we want to know, and that we’re interested in working together to make this an even better place,” Jaffe said.