Educators, Students, and Families Give Feedback
on School Experiences

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) today released the 2019 results of SurveyWorks, a statewide school culture and climate survey that solicits feedback from educators, students, and families about strengths and challenges in their school communities. Results are available at the state, district, and school levels, allowing communities to see how stakeholders feel about everything from family engagement and school safety, to academic expectations for students and professional learning opportunities for educators.

Over the past three years, RIDE has engaged in extensive outreach efforts to increase awareness of and participation in SurveyWorks as a tool that elevates student and family voices. This year, nearly 126,000 Rhode Islanders participated in the survey, an increase of more than 7,000 additional participants over 2018.

“I firmly believe that in order for education policy to be responsive to the needs of our communities, we need to value and elevate the voices of students, families, and all stakeholders,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “I am so glad that Rhode Islanders have this opportunity to share what they are feeling and experiencing in their schools, and I look forward to talking to schools about how we can collectively use SurveyWorks data to better understand and address the opportunities and challenges of our education system.”

SurveyWorks is available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and is administered almost entirely online, with a limited number of paper surveys available to schools. RIDE partners with Panorama Education to administer the survey, allowing the state to compare year-over-year changes.

SurveyWorks results, which are embedded as part of the Report Card platform, help to inform RIDE policy. Results on the educator survey, for example, have consistently showed that many teachers do not see the value or relevance of the professional learning opportunities at their school. In 2019, when asked how valuable the professional learning opportunities are at their school, only 33 percent of teachers responded favorably.

These data helped inform the agency’s review of teacher certification regulations, and led, in part, to the launch of the Educator Course Network last month, an online platform for professional learning.

RIDE in turn encourages districts to analyze and utilize their SurveyWorks to improve school conditions. This week, Commissioner Infante-Green will visit three schools to discuss SurveyWorks and how they can learn and grow from the results going forward.

Commissioner Infante-Green will visit the following schools:

WHAT: Conversation with educators

WHEN: Tuesday, May 7, 3 p.m.

WHERE: West Warwick High School

1 Webster Knight Drive, West Warwick

West Warwick High School had overall positive results on the teacher survey, including double-digit improvements in the favorability of responses in the school leadership, professional learning, and school climate categories.

WHAT: Conversation with students

WHEN: Wednesday, May 8, 8 a.m.

WHERE: Gallagher Middle School

10 Indian Run Trail, Smithfield

Statewide, student engagement and satisfaction declines as students get older. Gallagher Middle School showed several bright spots in their student survey, including a five percentage point improvement in school climate and a six percentage point improvement in student-teacher relationships.

WHAT: SurveyWorks school visit

WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 10 a.m.

WHERE: The Met School

325 Public Street, Providence

The Met had positive results across the board. In the school climate category, for example, responses were 76 percent, 88 percent, and 90 percent favorable among students, educators, and families, respectively.