Staff Engagement Helps Districts Measure School Climate : When Monroe School District Superintendent Cory Hirsbrunner looked for ways to gather feedback from his staff about the District’s initiatives and culture, he turned to School Perceptions.

Wisconsin-based companies are recognized entities in the District because they have collaborated on community surveys. “We are committed to ensuring every employee in the District has the opportunity to provide input and feedback,” Hirsbrunner shares. “We appreciate how the staff salaries we do as a District and the challenges they are experiencing that need to be addressed.”

The web-based school staff engagement survey is designed to collect feedback on staff members’ feelings and perceptions about specific drivers of engagement. “We know that there is a strong correlation between staff engagement and student engagement,” said Bill Foster, founder and president of School Perceptions. “When students are engaged, achievement increases.”

Engaged employees are employees who are fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work and take positive action to advance their school’s reputation and success. But are workers happy? According to a 2014 report by the Conference Board, a New York-based nonprofit research group, 52.3% are unhappy at work. Are teachers better? No. According to the MetLife Survey published in 2013, teacher job satisfaction has fallen to its lowest level in 25 years, from 62% in 2008 to 39% in 2012 – a total of 23 points.

Research shows that employee engagement is the result of employees feeling connected and valued and reporting a strong sense of balance in their lives. As a result, the employees involved are producers. They work hard, stay up late and give their best day after day. When teachers are involved, children learn.

The School Perceptions Staff Engagement Survey collected data on 12 employee engagement indices including control over work environment, health and well-being, workload, affirmation, collaboration and teamwork, belief in leadership development, culture of educational excellence, tools and training, public and parenting. support. , trust in District leadership, communication and planning and improvement processes.

Results reports allow the District to divide index results by different employee groups as well as compare themselves to similar schools across the state. “Our goal is to create easy-to-use data that the District can immediately use,” said Foster.

For Lancaster Community Schools, the data identified the need to change school calendar policies and adjust staff. In addition, they can see how staff feel about the District’s compensation structure. “We are pleased to know that despite the negative climate for public servants over the past few years, our staff feel the school and district council have done their best to maintain a fair compensation structure for staff and taxpayers,” co-president Bill Haskins said.

In the Monroe School District, the District administration team uses the data to plan for the upcoming school year. “It is valuable to now have the figures and documentation to support what may be assumptions in some areas,” explains Hirsbrunner. “The reports are very helpful and easy to read. The color-coded reports give a clear indication of what needs attention and where we are doing well.”

This survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete by employees. The School Perceptions software tracks survey completion, sending reminders to employees who have not taken the survey. As a result, the District experiences high participation rates, often approaching 85% of all employees. “If you want to have useful and useful data, it’s important to ensure a high response percentage and our software does it,” Foster shared.

Once closed, school districts can receive indexes and similar school analysis reports within a week.

In addition, the Perception School can provide commentary analysis to the District. Board members at the Lancaster Community School were affirmed by the comments they read. “We are pleased to know how many respondents articulate the strength of the District and their commitment not only to our students, but to the District as a whole,” comments Haskins.