Principals: Survey Your Stakeholders to End the Year

As the school year winds down, I begin to solicit feedback by sending surveys to staff and parents.  I ask them about the performance of our school and also my work.  The first couple of years as an administrator, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a thing.  I’m not sure I was confident enough in my role and I was probably nervous about the kind of feedback I’d receive!  Looking back, I wish I would’ve had a formal structure to get the thinking from others that would allow me to improve as a principal.  Since I’ve started doing this, it’s been very helpful to sit back on a June day when the students are gone and see our school through a different lens.  It makes me consider different perspectives and possibilities.download.jpg

By administering these surveys, I hope to send the message that I welcome the thinking of others, that I have a growth mindset and a burning desire to get better at my job, and that their voice matters.  With the data, I make an action plan of how I will address the issues that surface.  I also share the results and/or the action plan with the people who took the time to fill out the survey so they can see some of the summative results.

Below are the surveys that I sent to parents and staff last week.  I have tweaked them over the years based on how often I have been in the building, areas of focus for our school, or specific thinking I was hoping to receive.  I use SurveyMonkey because it’s free, easy, and anonymous.  If you need a format, feel free to use or adjust these as you’d like.

 

1. How would you rate Andy’s effectiveness as a principal this year?

Highly Effective
Effective
Minimally Effective
Ineffective

2. Andy has helped to create a positive culture at JU for staff

Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

3. Andy has helped to create a positive culture for students at JU

Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

4. I feel “valued and appreciated” by Andy

Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

5. JU has a collaborative culture with shared ownership and voice

Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

6. JU is an enjoyable place to work

Strongly Agree
Agree
Disagree
Strongly Disagree

7. I see Andy’s areas of strength as:

8. Areas I think Andy can improve are:

9. Areas of strength for Jamestown Upper are…

10. Areas of growth for Jamestown Upper are…

1. The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner Strongly Disagree
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner Disagree
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner Neutral
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner Agree
The curriculum my child is learning matches what they need as a learner Strongly Agree

2. The instruction my child received this year was effective

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
The instruction my child received this year was effective
The instruction my child received this year was effective Strongly Disagree
The instruction my child received this year was effective Disagree
The instruction my child received this year was effective Neutral
The instruction my child received this year was effective Agree
The instruction my child received this year was effective Strongly Agree

3. I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress Strongly Disagree
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress Disagree
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress Neutral
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress Agree
I received timely and accurate information about my child’s academic and social/emotional progress Strongly Agree

4. I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown Strongly Disagree
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown Disagree
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown Neutral
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown Agree
I feel like my child is safe at Jamestown Strongly Agree

5. Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown

Always Sometimes Neutral Rarely Never
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown Always
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown Sometimes
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown Neutral
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown Rarely
Being bullied is a problem for my child at Jamestown Never

6. The principal is effective in his role as the building leader

Ineffective Not yet effective Neutral Effective Highly Effective
The principal is effective in his role as the building leader
The principal is effective in his role as building leader Ineffective
The principal is effective in his role as building leader Not yet effective
The principal is effective in his role as building leader Neutral
The principal is effective in his role as building leader Effective
The principal is effective in his role as building leader Highly Effective

7. The Jamestown staff cares about my child

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
The Jamestown staff cares about my child
The Jamestown staff cares about my child Strongly Disagree
The Jamestown staff cares about my child Disagree
The Jamestown staff cares about my child Neutral
The Jamestown staff cares about my child Agree
The Jamestown staff cares about my child Strongly Agree

8. My biggest PRAISE and/or THING TO CHANGE for Jamestown would be…

9. Share anything about the principal’s work you do appreciate or don’t appreciate

10. Any additional information about Jamestown or your child’s 2017-2018 school year that you’d like to share

 

Next year, I’d like to extend the surveys to our students.  While I do exit interviews with each 5th-grader, I have not surveyed them in the past.  If you have student surveys you use with elementary students, please share those with me.

Best wishes on the final weeks of school with your students.  Enjoy all the end-of-the-year moments, smile, laugh, and be grateful to be part of the greatest profession in the world.download.jpg

 

 

Secor Family Milestones and Serendipidty

I spent part of the weekend reading the recently released Path to Serendipity by an educator and person I admire, Allyson Apsey.  At the same time, our family hit a few milestones that were very meaningful.  Those things happening simultaneously meant some reflection for me and usually what follows reflection is writing.download.jpg

Once I have a chance to reread and process more of what Allyson wrote, I’ll share a blog post devoted completely to her book.  My first impressions are that it’s real and authentic, just like her.  I connected with many things she wrote, even some that were slightly embarrassing.  The book encourages you to embrace the imperfect journey we are on in this thing called life.  Like the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s about embracing and trusting the process.  When I finished reading, I wanted to not only become a better educator but a better person.  Allyson’s words made me want to listen to understand, give grace, discover myself, seek the positives, but more than anything, take control of my own destiny each and every day.  While it’s still too raw to pinpoint how this will translate into my daily life, I can assure you that it will.  This book holds that type of power.

As far as the milestones, the Secor’s hit three fairly significant ones in the last 3 daysdownload.jpgFirst, my daughter was asked out on a date.  Well, I say it was a date.  My wife says it was a date.  She is pretty non-committal.  I think if someone asks you to go play golf, and it’s just the two of you, it’s a date.  My son had the reproductive health, “boy to man,” video at school.  That meant we need to have that father/son talk.  You know the one.  Finally, I took my daughter out to practice some driving around the parking lots by the school where I work as driver’s training is getting closer.  

So, how do those two things connect? 

“There is no greater blessing than to appreciate the gift of love and life.” 

Allyson writes that on page 52 in the midst of a touching story about her mom’s battle with cancer.  I read that quote about ten times before I realized why I was reading it over and over again.  It was because of those 3 milestones.  One could approach those milestones in many ways.  I could realize how old I’m getting.  Nah, let’s ignore father time a little longer.  I could shed a tear because of how big my kids are getting.  That’s really not how I approach these special moments.  I could wonder out loud where time has gone.  People who have heard my “time is a constant, not a variable” rant laugh at the thought of that. download.jpg

The way I choose to live out these milestones aligns well with Allyson’s quote.  I feel fortunate to experience that talk with my son.  My Dad never sat me down for that one and partially because of that, I wanted to have it with Myles.  He’s a pretty open book and we shared information and a few laughs.  As my daughter Ally nears the age of 15, I’m blessed to see her grow into a young woman someone would want to date.  She is thoughtful, kind, and caring.  Sitting with her in the car as she shifted the car into drive for the first time is a memory I feel blessed to have made with her.  I won’t ever forget it.  So many Dad’s don’t get to experience those 3 milestones with their kids.  Many kids don’t have their Dad around for those milestones.  I’m not sad those milestones happened, I’m grateful to have experienced them with my family.  

I feel appreciative that I was able to read Allyson’s book.  I am grateful to have the 3 milestones in our family this week.  As life goes on with milestones coming at us all the time, I choose to welcome them with open arms and make the best memories possible out of each and every one.