Staff, Student Engagement Steady in MCPS

March 28, 2014
Results of Gallup surveys used for school improvement;
School reports available online

The percentage of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students demonstrating a high level of hope, engagement, and well-being remained steady in 2013, according to survey results released Friday (March 28, 2014). The survey results also show a steady level of satisfaction and engagement among MCPS employees.

This is the second year that MCPS has used survey tools developed by Gallup to measure employee and student engagement. MCPS schools and offices use the results as an important part of the school improvement process.

“The Gallup data has led to meaningful conversations about how well we are truly engaging our students and staff and where we can make improvements,” Superintendent of Schools Joshua P. Starr said. “We are doing well, but there is clearly work left to be done.”

The Gallup student poll is a 20-question survey of students in grades 5 through 12 that measures hope, engagement and well-being—actionable targets linked to student achievement, retention and future employment. Gallup research shows that the more connected students feel to school, the better chance they have of taking advantage of all that schools have to offer.

Employees who enjoy coming to work bring an energy that has a ripple effect on students and on creating a culture where innovation and creativity thrive. Employee engagement is measured by Gallup in a 12-question survey. MCPS added six questions to the survey. An employee’s level of engagement links to various school outcomes, including employee retention, parent engagement, student retention, and student achievement.

“The engagement of students and staff is extremely important to the current and future success of our schools and our district,” Dr.  Starr said. “Students who are hopeful and engaged are more successful in school and in life. Employees who are engaged can better serve our students and meet their individual needs.”

The surveys were taken online in the fall. Nearly 18,300 of the district’s more than 22,000 employees took the staff engagement survey. The Gallup Student Survey was taken by 72,665 students. Both student and staff participation was up from the previous year.

This year’s student and employee surveys show steady numbers when compared with figures from the previous year. In the student polls, 54 percent of students were identified as being hopeful, 52 percent were engaged, and 66 percent were considered “thriving,” an indication of how students are doing today and a predictor of future success.

For employees, the overall satisfaction rate was 3.83 (out of 5) and the grand mean—the average of 12 engagement-related questions—was 3.88 (out of 5). These numbers were very similar compared to the previous year.

School and district survey results are now available on the MCPS website.

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