Released by the district earlier this week, the Working Conditions Survey polls educators on a variety of issues, including class size, access to instructional materials, interaction with administrators and communication with parents.
The questionnaire is based on a similar bi-annual state survey, but the district decided last year to send them out annually as a tool for gauging teacher morale and concerns.
“When viewing the survey results from the schools, it is imperative that viewers keep in mind that this is just one piece of data about each school,” Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley noted. “Additionally, what is happening at the state level is also reflected in teacher responses. Feedback from this survey will continue to help guide efforts to strengthen teaching and learning conditions in our schools.”
Participation in the surveys is voluntary, according to a New Hanover County Schools spokeswoman, and numbers vary districtwide on how many educators sent in their feedback.
At Anderson Elementary, for example, there was a drop in participation this year. Approximately 57 percent of faculty answered the survey, compared to about 84 percent last year and 100 percent in 2012.
Only 30 percent of Aldermen Elementary educators responded, down significantly from approximately 76 percent last year. But those who did respond gave the school perfect marks in several categories, including ones related to the level of teacher respect and ability to lead on campus.
Forest Hills Global Elementary School did not see such high scores in that area, with only 37 percent of respondents saying they felt recognized as “educational experts” and “trusted to make sound professional decisions about instruction.” In both instances, that was a drop from 79 and 83 percent, respectively, in 2014.
The school also had low numbers when it came to educators perspective on administrative leadership. Of the 60 percent who responded to the survey, only about 15 percent felt their was level of mutual respect between principals and teaching staff, compared to 61 percent last year, and just 3.7 percent said they felt comfortable raising concerns to their higher-ups, a marked drop from 43 percent in 2014.
Other schools, such as Ashley High School, had a positive jump in teacher satisfaction in certain categories. The school saw leaps in approval regarding available teaching resources and increases across the board in the category related to school leadership.
Click here to see complete results of the district’s last three working conditions surveys for each school.