So how are the Manteca Unified schools doing?
They earned a “B or better” from 57 percent of the 611 initial responses that were collected in the first three days of the district community survey was available on the district website at mantecausd.net, the district Facebook page and through the Blackboard messaging system that connects parents with their children’s schools.
Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer said the ongoing survey is designed to help provide additional data for the school board when making decisions involving programs.
Messer noted besides looking at what the district might need to add to better serve community needs it is also a tool to identify what is working and what isn’t working. The survey results aren’t meant to drive decisions as much as they are to help the board and district administration weigh various options aimed at improving education offerings.
Among the initial results:
uWhat do you think are MUSD’s biggest challenges?
Respondents were asked to choose between one and three options. The top responses were as follows: large class sizes. 264; lack of programs (music, art, PE, etc.), 208; bullying, 155; lack of proper financial support, 153; difficulty in getting good teachers, 141; quality of education; 129; rapid growth in student enrollment, 95; school failure to enforce discipline, 90; and lack of student interest, 87.
uWhat kind of learning environments are you hoping to see in the MUSD?
Respondents were asked to mark all that apply. The top responses were as follows: college preparation/advanced placement, 377; blending high school with college, 27; job shadowing, 216; environmental learning, 187; gifted and talented student programs, 175; Internet or online classes, 160; charter school, 122; JROTC, 73; and voucher programs/school choice, 71.
uWhat kind of career programs are you hoping to see in MUSD?
Respondents were asked to mark all that apply. The top responses were as follows: computer programs, 337; health careers, 337; science technology, 327; law/legal careers, 283; vocational and manufacturing, 229; teaching careers, 264; performing arts careers, 199; agricultural careers, 176; and culinary careers, 171.
uWhat do you like the most about schools in the MUSD?
Respondents were asked to choose between three and five options. The top responses were as follows: close to home, 380; teachers and staff, 295; clean and safe environment, 201; district and school communication, 156; diverse student population, 137; caring environment, 125; technology, 114; extracurricular programs, 112; and before and after school care, 107.
Among other questions being asked include how well people believe Manteca Unified is preparing students for college and post-high school training, rating communication with the school their child attends, specific artistic programs they would like to see, what specific vocational programs they would like offered, what specific athletic programs they’d like to see made available; what general education phases help describe your dream school; and what science and technology terms help describe your dream school for your child.
The responses to the dream school question so far has indicated there is a strong trend favoring connecting schools more with the community through endeavors such as apprenticeships and internships, regular field trips, advanced placement, regular guest speakers, as well as smaller high schools and charter schools.
Modern technology also was in strong favor with emphasis placed by respondents on science, technology, electronics, and math; “maker” endeavors; writing code; and online learning.
Of the 611 initial respondents 60 percent were college graduates, 56 percent earned more than $60,000; 64% were white or Hispanic, and more than twice as many women responded than men.
In January, Manteca Unified will be rolling out surveys for teachers addressing their respective schools as well as their views on district level support and what can be improved.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com