The Menlo Park City School District is pioneering a new approach to evolving its curriculum – monkeying around.
The district invited parents to participate in its five-year planning process this week by sending them a SurveyMonkey. An online tool to collect data, SurveyMonkey is now being employed by school administrators to take their curriculum to the next level.
“Education is a vital part of our success as a nation, and we wanted to provide a scalable technology solution to help schools and parents make better decisions about their children’s schooling,” said Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey’s chief executive officer.
“By measuring multiple factors, educators and parents alike can work together to make their children’s educational environment the best possible,” Goldberg said.
The survey was emailed to parents with children enrolled in the district’s four schools this week. Blasting it deep into the heart of Stanford University country, the district is the first in the Bay Area to deploy the Harvard Graduate School of Education Parent Survey.
, is overseeing the process.
“The responses to the survey will enable us to identify potential areas of improvement, track our performance over time and compare ourselves to other leading school districts,” Ghysels told Patch. “This will ultimately help us improve the quality of education for all students,” Ghysels said.
The survey is designed to collect information that will enable administrators to analyze the relationship between parents and their child’s school. Administrators say they will use this data in the strategic planning process that takes place later this year.
The survey was sent to about 2,700 parents and will be available through late February. It contains questions about things the district considers vital to determining a student's success.
“We strive to work as a community to inspire high academic achievement among all students, serve their needs, challenge their minds, and enrich their lives," said Superintendent Ghysels.
“Parents are obviously a critical part of this community, which supports and values staying current on the latest thinking, trying new ways to reach students, and taking the initiative to develop and share the best practices,” he said.
The district’s schools API scores consistently exceed California’s annual targets. With the extra bandwidth, the school is scrutinizing seven things that impact student success: parental support, child behaviors, parent engagement, parent self-efficacy, school climate, school program fit, and parent roles and responsibilities.
The district will begin to analyze the data in March. Survey Monkey is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
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