Last spring, Idaho students in elementary and middle school were asked to take a survey. They were asked questions about school safety, student-teacher relationships, and about the social and learning atmosphere at the school.
I was surprised to learn that only 65 percent percent of students felt engaged in the classroom. That means nearly one third of students are not engaged in learning.
I was really stunned to learn that my children’s middle school was on the low end of the spectrum, with only 55 percent of students indicating they felt engaged. I wanted to know if the principal was aware of this data, and if he had a plan to increase student engagement, so I sent him an email.
He responded right away and informed me that he was aware of the data, and constantly looking for ways to help students be more involved. He said, “Our focus this year is on strengthening our Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). This is an area, that when done well, can have the greatest impact on student achievement. We are also entering a process to become a High Reliability School, you can read “A handbook for High Reliability Schools: The Next Step in School Reform” if you’d like to dig in to what this might look like.”
I was really pleased that he knew about the data and had a plan of action to help the teachers and students improve.
To see the data for yourself, go to the Idaho State Department of Education’s website and look for the section listed “2018 Accountability Data” (halfway down the page). Click on “Student Engagement” and you can see the data from all of the schools around Idaho.
How engaged are the students at your school?
Does your principal have a plan to improve the learning atmosphere?