Results of the ACPS 2020 survey show that our families and community saw improvements across all ACPS goal areas last year, contributing to an increase in the level of trust between ACPS and the community.
Survey results show 74 percent of people had a favorable view of the quality of ACPS – up 11 percentage points over the previous year – as well as an 18 percentage point increase in the number of parents and community members who said there is mutual respect and trust between ACPS and the community, at 83 percent.
A total of 72 percent of respondents said ACPS had a positive public image, up 15 percentage points over last year, and that they feel welcome to attend events. The areas with the most favorable responses were regarding family and community engagement, with 93 percent of respondents agreeing they felt welcome in our schools and 92 percent agreeing that ACPS provides opportunities to volunteer for school programs, activities and events.
This year, 2,186 people took the survey, 88 percent of whom were ACPS parents at the time the survey was administered. The total number of respondents was 44 percent higher than the previous year and respondents were more diverse than in previous years, although they were still not representative of the diversity of the school division or of Alexandria as a whole.
The areas where the public said they felt ACPS had the most room to improve were regarding facilities. While showing improvement over the responses from the previous year, a total of 63 percent of respondents believe ACPS facilities are well-maintained, while 68 percent said ACPS offers optimal learning environments.
The survey reflected a desire to see ACPS foster a learning environment that is fun, encourages creativity and offers more hands-on learning experiences. This is also one of the themes that we are hearing through the focus groups for The High School Project: Inspiring a Future for Alexandria.
ACPS will also be working to improve and maintain the safety, cleanliness and appearance of ACPS schools, facilities and bathrooms. All schools were at a level-one standard of cleanliness at the start of this school year, with a goal of maintaining that level throughout the school year.
ACPS will also ensure equitable access to resources and learning materials for all schools across the division – another area of next steps that came out of the survey. This summer ACPS ordered new reading textbooks and materials for elementary levels across the division. The last update was in 2004. The new textbooks are aligned with the curriculum and include content that is culturally aware.
This is the third consecutive year that ACPS conducted a survey to measure division-wide performance related to the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan to measure public perceptions of progress within goal areas of the strategic plan. The survey was available for three weeks in April and May 2018 and was accessible online in English, Spanish, and Arabic, as well in paper format in Amharic and other languages upon request.