Education

Survey results: Wake parents mostly satisfied with school assignments

Posted February 2, 2010 7:36 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2010 11:42 p.m. EST

— Most parents with students enrolled in the Wake County Public School System appear to like the school to which their child is assigned, according to preliminary results of a survey presented Tuesday to school board members.

The board sought parents' input as it considers changes to student assignment. Parents had about two weeks to respond to questions about their attitudes toward the year-round calendar, which can accommodate more students than schools on a traditional calendar.

The board received 39,611 responses from parents – about 28 percent of those in the district. Of those responding, 45.3 percent had children enrolled in a traditional-calendar school and 52.6 percent enrolled in a year-round school.

"We got a good response from year-round schools," Board of Education Chairman Ron Margiotta said. "That is what we have been looking for."

The results are not final and offer no analysis of the survey results. The focus of the results will likely be on responses from parents at individual schools.

Three year-round schools – Leesville Middle, Salem Middle and Wakefield Elementary – had parents indicating they do not prefer year-round schools. Parents at other year-round schools were mostly in favor of the calendar.

Among other results:

  • More than 94 percent of survey respondents indicated they were either "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their child's school regardless of the calendar type.
  • More than 61 percent of year-round parents indicated they were very satisfied with their child's school; 33.27 indicated they were satisfied. Parents with students at traditional calendar schools had similar results – 55.8 percent– indicated they were very satisfied. About 38 percent were satisfied.
  • When asked how satisfied they were with the calendar of the school their child attends, 83 percent of parents indicated that they were pleased – about 58 percent were "very satisfied" and nearly 25 percent were "satisfied."
  • Nearly 49 percent of respondents said they preferred traditional schools; 44.75 preferred year-round schools. Of parents with students enrolled in traditional calendar schools, 77.34 percent indicated they preferred traditional. Nearly 71 percent of year-round parents favored year-round schools.

School staff said Tuesday it is too early to know what changes might be made.

"We have not had the time to analyze the results," said David Holdzkom, assistant superintendent for evaluation and research.

Board members said no decisions should be made until results are clear.

Board member Keith Sutton expressed concerns about the low response rate from parents in economically disadvantaged areas – 15 percent of those who took the survey had children on free and reduced lunch –  and asked for a fifth community meeting on year-round schools to be held in the area.

School staff are looking at the possibility of a Feb. 11 date. Other meetings are:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Holly Springs High School, 5329 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Leesville Road High School, 8409 Leesville Road, Raleigh
  • Thursday, Feb. 25 at Panther Creek High School, 6770 McCrimmon Parkway, Cary

Each meeting runs from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the schools' auditoriums.

The school system received more than 41,000 responses, but 774 were removed from the pool because they were identified as duplicates. Another 959 were removed because they had invalid student ID numbers.