Poll un­der­scores teenage angst

The Glengarry News - - The Classified­s -

Teenage angst, an em­ploy­eeem­ployer dis­con­nect and school pride.

Those are some of the top­ics un­der­lined in an Up­per Canada District School Board sur­vey of how par­ents, stu­dents and staff about the board and how it is meet­ing its strate­gic goals.

Only half of sec­ondary stu­dents are ready to make de­ci­sions on their fu­ture or know what they will be do­ing af­ter high school, ac­cord­ing to the UCDSB Cul­ture Sur­vey of Stu­dents and Staff. Though 76 per cent of sec­ondary stu­dents have a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude for overcoming dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions, half have a dif­fi­cult time cop­ing with the stress of school and two in five in­di­cated they have trou­ble with so­cial anx­i­ety.

The re­sults also show that stu­dents, as they move from pri­mary to sec­ondary school, be­come less pos­i­tive about their school’s en­vi­ron­ment, its teach­ers and the UCDSB in gen­eral. Par­ents’ at­ti­tudes to­wards the UCDSB and its schools do not re­flect the same change of at­ti­tude, with most par­ents con­tin­u­ing to be much more pos­i­tive than their child at­tend­ing sec­ondary school.

“This sur­vey asked some se­ri­ous ques­tions and we re­ceived hon­est re­sponses,” said board chair Jeff McMil­lan. “There are many ar­eas of our work we are very proud of and, like any or­ga­ni­za­tion, ar­eas that need im­prove­ment. We ac­cept this be­cause for any or­ga­ni­za­tion to im­prove, you need to value, en­gage and em­brace feed­back. We will use this data to get bet­ter.”

Dur­ing the process, the board re­ceived 1,710 re­sponses from staff, 527 from el­e­men­tary and sec­ondary stu­dents, and 609 from par­ents.

Other find­ings show that most par­ents are con­fi­dent that teach­ers are well trained, care about stu­dents and be­lieve that staff mem­bers help de­velop strong char­ac­ters and pro­vide an emo­tion­ally safe en­vi­ron­ment. How­ever, just over half be­lieve the school is do­ing enough when it comes to stu­dent’s men­tal health or trust the education sys­tem to en­sure chil­dren get enough phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity (56%).

Two thirds (64%) of par­ents feel their chil­dren are well pre­pared for the de­mands of life.

Staff per­cep­tions de­pended heav­ily on whether they were dis­cussing the UCDSB or their school specif­i­cally. Most of­ten, staff mem­ber views felt more neg­a­tively to­wards the board than their spe­cific school. Less than half (46%) agreed that there is good com­mu­ni­ca­tion within the UCDSB, and only two in five (39%) feel that com­mu­ni­ca­tion is open and hon­est.

One quar­ter (24%) of staff feel it is safe to chal­lenge the board, while three in five (60%) feel they can chal­lenge the way things are done at the school level.

Though most (74%) staff mem­bers are proud of work­ing for the UCDSB, many were crit­i­cal of cer­tain aspects of their work. Less than half (46%) of staff mem­bers feel they have the staff and sup­port nec­es­sary for stu­dent suc­cess and en­gage­ment. Only two in five (40%) feel val­ued and rec­og­nized by the UCDSB, while only half (49%) be­lieve that within their school, spir­i­tual well­ness of staff and stu­dents is a pri­or­ity.

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