RPS addresses criticisms from survey research, plans for future at board meeting

Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – RPS, in trying to implement a strategic plan over the next three academic years, received feedback on how students, staff and district parents are faring throughout the pandemic.

“Parents, guardians and community members prioritized students’ academic performance being below expectations above any other issue that should be addressed by Rochester Public Schools strategic plan,” said Nicole Rodgers of Wilder Research.

RPS also learned more about how different racial and ethnic groups were responding to the district’s current climate.

“There were other issues besides academic performance including school climate and safety, a sense of belonging that were most commonly prioritized,” said Rodgers.

One of the biggest points of interest is a lack of transparency for lesson plans and curriculum.

“Families and community members really want more information about their child’s school and how the district overall is doing,” said Anna Granias of Wilder Research.

This level of feedback caught the board by surprise.

“Parents have never had as much access to information about our schools, our buildings, individual classrooms, as they have right now. But, they may not know how to access it, and at that point, their perception becomes their reality,” said Board Chair Jean Marvin.

“There’s a belief that we’re withholding information, and the examples which were provided, I think, could be addressed with openly communicating our policies and our limitations,” said Board Member Don Barlow.

According to the research firm, students prioritize mental health.

“From the student perspective, mental health resources were talked about as being really critical,” said Granias.

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