Youth Truth Survey

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Dear David Douglas Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for providing your valuable feedback through the YouthTruth surveys!

You may recall that we launched YouthTruth surveys last November to hear from our students and parents/guardians on themes related to school climate and culture.

I am excited to share that YouthTruth completed the analysis, we’ve received and reviewed the findings, and we are reflecting on the insights from your feedback and beginning to plan next steps.

While we will explore the findings more over the next several months and strategically use the feedback to inform next year’s planning, I wanted to send a note of thanks for your participation and to let you know what we are currently doing and planning to do with your feedback.

We gathered anonymous feedback from nearly 8,500 members of our community, including 1,915 parents and 6,574 students. You can find a distribution of student and family response results as well as more detailed information about the survey by clicking here.

In this survey, we asked:

  • Students in grades 3-12 for their feedback about their school overall with questions related to school climate, academic rigor, relationships with teachers and peers (including bullying), and culture.
  • Families about school culture, engagement and empowerment, relationships, communication and feedback, and school safety.

Here’s what we learned:

From students

In general, we learned from students at all levels that our schools have high academic expectations. A large majority of students indicated that both they and their teachers expect them to work hard for good grades (90% elementary, 87% middle, 84% high). This is great news.

But we also learned that there are instructional improvements that we can make to create relevancy in our schools. Fewer than half of students at all levels believe that our staff makes an effort to connect in class work to life outside of the classroom (45% elementary, 22% middle, 28% high).

From families

Based on family members’ feedback, we learned that our staff does a great job of creating relationships, as a large majority at all levels said our teachers treat families with respect (92% elementary, 86% middle, 81% high).

According to many of our families, we have room for improvement encouraging active engagement by family members. Only small majorities of families at elementary (64%) and middle school (51%) feel empowered to play a meaningful role in school decisions, while only 31% of high school families say that parents and family members are included in planning school activities.

Please continue to share your insights with us.

Thank you for your partnership in ensuring that all 10,000 students in the David Douglas School District are inspired and challenged to Learn, Grow and Thrive to their fullest potential. I truly believe that our ability to be effective is only as great as our ability to give and receive feedback. Thank you for engaging in this feedback process with us.

We will continue to listen and learn, and your next opportunity to talk to us is coming up at our next Your Voice Matters listening session. It will be held 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the DDHS South Building Cafeteria, 1500 SE 130th Avenue. Please join us.


Ken Richardson