Survey shows support for Wenatchee Learns proposals
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
WENATCHEE — Survey results from community members showed support for 10 of 11 proposals to help reform education in the Wenatchee School District. Only one, year-round school, was rejected.
Wenatchee Learns sent out the informal surveys in May and June to poll community members about the future of learning in Wenatchee’s public schools. The 11 proposed changes range from students learning at their own pace and using technology to citizen-student mentoring and year round school.
Parents, students, educators and citizens were polled by Wenatchee Learns, a Wenatchee School District program based on 11 community-built principles to enhance student learning in a technological age. Mike Franza, principal at Wenatchee High School, said he thinks his students made up about half of the responses.
“These are intelligent kids and they’re telling us about their education. So we’re listening.” Franza said.
In total, 4,061 people responded. Of those surveyed, 40.8 percent thought year-round school was a good idea. The district has not ruled it out, but is using the results of the survey to prioritize the proposals. The low support for year-round school puts it at the bottom of the districts to-do list.
Community members gave overwhelming support to the rest of the proposals. Two of the proposals — students exploring career paths and engaging in hands-on project learning — were backed by nine of every 10 respondents. To be qualified as “in support” of a proposal, respondents indicated they were either ”supportive” or “excited” about the proposal. The last 10 proposals all received over 70 percent support from community memebers.
Here’s how the numbers broke down:
• Students explore career paths: 90.3 percent.
• Hands-on project learning: 89.1 percent.
• Skilled volunteering opportunities: 82.8 percent.
• More positive learning environments: 81.4 percent.
• Students learn at their own pace: 80.8 percent.
• Learning partnerships with businesses: 80.0 percent.
• Citizen-student mentoring: 76.1 percent.
• Electronic tablets for learners: 76.0 percent.
• Internet-enhanced learning: 74.7 percent.
• More parent engagement: 71.3 percent.
In September, Wenatchee school administrators and board members will meet with an advisory committee and build a plan to turn those abstract proposals into solid initiatives that can be implemented in Wenatchee classrooms.
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