This week was the last week that faculty and students could take this years district “Climate and Satisfaction Survey” for the Albany County School district. 

There is a similar survey every year that is aimed at meeting the goals set forth in the five year strategic plan.

“From past surveys, we crafted the strategic plan, and now use them to make sure we are on track with the strategic plan. We use them to track where we are going with our primary goals, called pathways. The first one is Communications, second one is Teaching and learning, and third one is Operations,” said superintendent of Albany County School District #1 Jubal Yennie.

There are multiple aspects to the strategic plan, including communication with parents, partnering with the community, ensuring nutritional lunches and fostering safe, clean, technology-available environments for learning.

The survey format was multiple-choice questions regarding these aspects of the district: how parents or students would like to be communicated with about events in the district, the quality of the different aspects and overall feelings about the district. 

“What I am trying to assess at this point, is if we are making any progress on the strategic plan. Is there anything that parents or students are telling us that we need to address, or change some direction with the strategic plan,” Yennie said.

Recently, some changes have been made, including a switch to a new company to run the survey format from K-12 Insight to Qualtrics, an experience management company that runs software for thousands of companies since 2002.

Past surveys have all contributed to planning, which attempts to make the school a safe place that is equipped to help students learn and apply that learning later on in life. The ACSD #1 mission is to help students achieve at their highest potential, and to help them succeed in life. 

The way they are trying to reach this mission is to receive good feedback from not only parents and teachers, but from students as well. 

Yennie has made it one of his goals to increase student voice, and to meet them where he knows they will respond, such as through text, possibly even moving away from a Microsoft-oriented system to a Google-focused one, making it easier to receive valuable feedback.

A part of this goal includes possibly switching to district reminders through text. One reason for this is that Yennie has seen more parent responses two years ago than this year, possibly due to them using their phones more as well. 

Overall Yennie and other leadership throughout the district agree that feedback is extremely important when it comes to improving the district, and with more student and parent involvement, the district will keep improving the lives of students, teachers, parents and the rest of the community.