The results of a school climate survey presented during the March 10 meeting of the Warren County Board of Education identified a need for greater parental and community involvement in the education of local students.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Young said that this internal survey was given to teachers in the Warren County public school district as a means to assess the school system prior to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s annual state survey. She noted that, overall, 90-95 percent of the county’s teachers completed the survey.

Young said that the survey identified the following trends for the school district as a whole:

Achievements: Teachers at all schools said that their schools were good places to work and learn. Four out of seven schools said that teachers are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction. Teachers at three of seven schools said that the school leadership uses data to improve student learning and that their schools take steps to solve problems.

Areas for improvement: Teachers at four of seven schools indicated that they feel that the community they serve is not supportive of the school. Teachers at four of seven schools feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to a broad range of school-level professional support personnel (with the exception of the Beginning Teacher Program and district level support). Teachers at five of seven schools feel that parents are not influential decision makers in the school.

Strategies for improvement: Parental and community support: Invite community stakeholders to attend a school tour for an opportunity to learn about initiatives taking place at their school. Principals can collaborate with fellow principals who have had success in this area and adopt best practices.

Professional development for teachers: The school improvement team could conduct a survey to gather input from teachers and staff to provide feedback on school-level professional development. Providing school level instructional coaches may be an option depending on available funds. Principals can identify teacher leaders to assist with school level instructional support.

Parents as influential decision makers: Invite parents to school improvement team meetings to participate in person or via other means. Consider having parent meetings right before an athletic event as opportunities to issue short paper surveys and gather parental input and feedback.

Results by school

Mariam Boyd Elementary School: Strengths: One hundred percent of teachers said that school administrators support teachers’ efforts to maintain discipline in the classroom, that teachers are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction, and that overall their school is a good place to work and learn. More that 90 percent agreed with the following: The school does a great job of encouraging parent/guardian involvement (96.9 percent), and there is an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect (90.6 percent).

Areas of improvement-those who agreed with the following: The majority of staff feel that the community they serve is not supportive of the school (34.4 percent); that parents are not influential decision makers in the school (37.5 percent); and that teachers do not have sufficient access to a broad range of school-level professional support personnel with the exception of the Beginner Teacher Program and district level support (37.5 percent). Students at their school follow the rules of conduct (32.5 percent).

Vaughan Elementary School: Strengths: Percentages of teachers who agreed with the following: The faculty works in a school environment that is safe (100 percent), teachers receive feedback that can help them improve teaching (84.2 percent), the school leadership facilitates using data to improve student learning (94.7 percent), school administrators consistently enforce rules for student conduct (89.5 percent), overall my school is a good place to work and learn (79 percent).

Areas for improvement: Percentages of teachers who agreed with the following: The majority of staff feel that teachers are not trusted to make sound professional decisions about instruction (42.2 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers are not relied upon to make decisions about educational issues (47.4 percent), teachers do not feel comfortable raising issues and concerns that are important to them (52.7 percent), teachers are not recognized as educational experts (31.6 percent).

Northside K-8 School: Strengths: The school leadership facilitates data to improve student learning (83.4 percent), teachers are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction (73.4 percent), teachers consistently enforce rules for student conduct (76 percent), the faculty are recognized for their accomplishments (76.7 percent), overall my school is a good place to work and learn (66.7 percent).

Areas for improvement: The majority of staff feel that there is not an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect in their school (56.7 percent), teachers do not feel comfortable raising issues and concerns that are important to them (63.3 percent), students at the school do not follow rules of conduct (70 percent), the majority of staff feel that the community they serve is not supportive of the school (66.7 percent).

Warren County Middle School: Strengths: The majority of staff feel that teachers are effective leaders in their school (69.6 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers are trusted to make sound professional decisions about instruction (73.9 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers are encouraged to participate in school leadership roles (82.6 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers are recognized as educational experts (60.9 percent), overall my school is a good place to work and learn (60.9 percent).

Areas for improvement: The majority of staff feel that more efforts need to be made to reduce the amount of teachers’ routine paperwork (56.5 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to a broad range of school-level professional support personnel not including the Beginning Teacher Program or district level support (47.8 percent), the majority of staff feel that parents and guardians are not influential decision makers in the school (69.6 percent), the majority of staff feel that students do not follow the rules of conduct (87 percent).

Warren County High School: Strengths: Teachers are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction (72 percent), the school leadership facilitates using data to improve student leadership (64 percent), teachers are encouraged to participate in school leadership roles (86 percent), in this school we take steps to solve problems (64 percent), overall my school is a good place to work and learn (64 percent).

Areas for improvement: The majority of staff feel that the community they serve is not supportive of the school (72 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers do not consistently enforce the roles for student conduct (68 percent), the majority of staff feel that parents are not influential decision makers in this school (64 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to appropriate instructional materials (52 percent).

Warren Early College High School: Strengths: teachers are allowed to focus on educating students with minimal disruptions, students at this school follow the rules, in this school we take steps to solve problems, teachers are held to high professional standards for delivering instruction, overall my school is a good place to work and learn (100 percent for each).

Areas for improvement: The majority of staff feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to a broad range of school-level professional support personnel not including the Beginning Teacher Program or district level support (50 percent), parents/guardians are not influential decision makers in this school (50.1 percent), the majority of staff feel that the amount of non-instructional time provided for teachers is not sufficient (83.3 percent), the majority of staff feel that more time is needed for collaborative planning (66.7 percent).

Warren New Tech High School: Strengths: The faculty are recognized for accomplishments, teachers feel comfortable raising issues and concerns that are important, teachers are encouraged to participate in leadership roles, in this school we take steps to solve problems, overall my school is a good place to work and learn (100 percent for each).

Areas for improvement: The majority of staff feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to appropriate instructional materials (63.7 percent), the majority of staff feel that parents are not influential decision makers in this school (72.7 percent), the majority of staff feel that teachers do not have sufficient access to a broad range of school-level professional support not including the Beginning Teacher Program and district level support (45.5 percent), the majority of staff feel that the community they serve is not supportive of the school (45.5 percent).

Young said that principals are working to address their teachers’ concerns.

Board member Victoria Lehman added that the survey should guide the school system’s upcoming strategic plan.