Published : Wednesday, June 22, 2016 | 2:43 AM
Pasadena Unified will reveal and discuss findings from a district-wide survey conducted in February that highlights parents’ concerns in determining how to improve the District’s schools and its school choice enrollment program at a community meeting Tuesday.
“It is absolutely critical that we invest in state-of-the-art planning – not only to build capacity in our educational system, but also to ensure that the innovative and successful programs we envision are well supported by capital expenditures,” said Associate Superintendent for School Support Services Mercy Santoro, who led the Master Plan survey efforts.
The master plan serves as a blueprint to guide program development, facility investments, and ultimately student success. Its purpose is to help the District to make sound investments, solve long-term challenges, transform an aging infrastructure, and provide more innovative and equitable opportunities for all according to the PUSD website.
Its key areas of focus are community, instruction, leadership and facilities.
Pasadena Unified hired Goodwin Simon Strategic Research to develop and administer the survey to four types of PUSD parent groups: parents with children in PUSD schools, parents who live in the Pasadena area with children of pre-school age, parents who chose to transfer their students out of PUSD school and parents with students in charter or independent schools.
“This is the first time the district has taken to survey families with a scientific rigor,” explained Santoro. “We were looking to underscore what fuels parents’ choices in public education.”
Five surveys were conducted between February 15 and March 14 this year. The criteria was as follows:
• An online survey of 1,865 current PUSD parents with children in grades K– 10.
• A survey of 265 former PUSD parents, conducted online and by telephone.
• An online survey of 82 parents who live in the PUSD area and who have children in one of the
seven local preschools that participated in the survey.
• An online survey of 493 parents in the five local charter and private schools that agreed to
participate in the survey.
• An online survey completed by 684 PUSD employees, parents, students, and community members. This survey was accessed from the District’s website.
Results showed that the PUSD earned very high satisfaction ratings from current parents, but also found that former parents and parents at local private and charter schools have strong concerns about the District, according to the website.
About 32 percent of former parents say they might consider returning to the PUSD and 32 percent of private/charter parents said they have considered enrolling their children in the PUSD.
“We found that families in the PUSD are happy with their educational experience overall, but we are working out steps in which we can improve. The district is positioning itself to be responsive to the needs of our students and parents. We are listening,” said Santoro.
Santoro also highlighted the importance of understanding how to bring students into the PUSD and doing what they can to keep them for for their pre-college school career from K-12.
“We found it important to determine how to attract and retain students for the duration including when they transition from elementary to middle school and eventually to high school,” explained Santoro.
The PUSD will present the survey results as well as offer a Q&A session with representatives from Goodwin Simon Strategic Research on Tuesday at the PUSD Professional Development Center located at 119 W. Palm Ave., Altadena from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.