School Start Time Survey response rate encouraging

The Greenwich Public Schools School Start Time Survey response rate is encouraging, with 27% of students in Grades 8-12, 31% of all parents, 51% of all staff responding in the first week of the survey administration window. The Survey administration window opened on May 28, 2015, and closes on June 5, 2015.

Superintendent of Schools Bill McKersie said, “The School Start Time Survey response rate so far is strong, comparing favorably to other District-wide survey experiences. For example, 28% of parents responded to the Strategic Planning Survey (2014) and 33% of parents responded to the most recent Harris Survey (2012.) We’d like to see even higher participation rates by the close of the survey, and encourage parents, students and staff to participate.”

The District is administering the School Start Time Survey in order to provide parents, staff and students an opportunity to express their views on whether or not the Board of Education should explore a change in school start times. The District has launched an extensive communication plan to encourage respondents to complete the survey.

Early messages were sent in direct emails to stakeholders the week prior to the survey launch, providing advance notice of the survey. The survey link was sent in individual emails to every household, every GPS staff member, and every student in Grades 8-12. For those few families (less than 1%) that have not provided the District with email addresses, a ParentLink phone call was sent providing options for how they could complete the survey.

Suggested messages to encourage participation were sent to all school Principals and to PTA leadership, asking them to reinforce communications. Reminder notifications and survey links have been sent to all stakeholders and will be sent again this week. One parent remarked, “I received four messages today from different sources to take the survey.” The survey and all messages have been provided in English and Spanish.

Dr. McKersie continues, “We have been and continue to be open to the exploration of changing school start times and encourage parents, students and staff to submit their views on the topic via the survey. With this survey we are attempting to gauge the degree to which the stakeholder groups most immediately impacted support an exploration into changing school start times.”

Next Steps:

The School Start Time Advisory committee will review the survey results in June. Administration will issue a report on the findings in July. The Board of Education is scheduled to discuss and take action on the exploration of changing school start times at their September 2015 public meetings.

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