How are we doing? How are you doing? These are two key questions Reynoldsburg City Schools (RCS) recently asked of the community by way of an online survey (fielded primarily via email and social media February 11-26, 2021).
“Recognizing that this past year has been challenging in many ways – and an anomaly for us all – we believed it was critically important to check in with our parents, staff, and community and get some feedback,” said Dr. Melvin J. Brown, RCS Superintendent. “We were thrilled to have more than 1,700 of our stakeholders respond to the survey in a two-week period.”
RCS also was pleased that survey participants gave high ratings to the schools for managing operations during the pandemic, with 75 percent saying the schools did an “excellent” or “good” job. Just 17 percent rated RCSD as “only fair” or “poor” – which was especially good news considering the majority of participants (73 percent) were parents of a current RCS student.
Participants also were asked to rate the schools’ performance in several specific areas related to their handling of education and student/family support during the past year. On each individual measure, the schools were given a rating of “excellent” or “good” by 72-83 percent of parents.
As the schools have been challenged to constantly adapt and evolve over the course of the last year, they also recognize there are numerous challenges families and individuals likely faced – and still face – as well. Survey participants were asked about some potential areas of concern for their personal households. Mental health/stress and family/personal health topped the list.
Over the next several weeks, the schools will be sharing more specific results of the survey with the community – and not just the data. RCS is actively working on how it can help address the concerns uncovered throughout the survey.
“For instance, we want people to know we heard them when they expressed concern about mental health and stress. We want to inform and connect people to the resources that exist within our schools and our community to get the help and support they need,” Brown said.
Additionally, survey participants prioritized several known facility-related concerns – with elementary building overcrowding and lack of space for full-day Kindergarten topping the list. In fact, 71 percent and 65 percent, respectively, said these were “very important” priorities to them. As Reynoldsburg City Schools returns its focus to long-range plans to address facility-related issues, they want their stakeholders to know their input is heard and valuable.
“We are working on that and have created community committees to meet with architects to start planning our next steps,” Brown said. “As enrollment continues to grow, and our facilities continue to age, we know that we have to act soon before there is a negative impact on education.”