FWCS to seek input from stakeholders using streamlined tools - March 29, 2011

Record Number: 7367
Displayed from: Mar 29, 2011 , until: Jun 30, 2011

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees approved a three-year contract on Monday, March 28, working with K12 Insight, a national leader in school data collection, to increase the school district's engagement with the community. Through a series of interactive surveys and focus groups that will be conducted every year, FWCS will learn more about the priorities of parents, community members, students, teachers and others. The information gathered will be used to help school district leaders make data-driven decisions. "For many years, we have used our own surveys to evaluate school climate as reported by students, parents and staff, but we want to dig deeper to continue our improvement process," Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. "We believe the community's voice is important, and this gives us the tools we need to hear from all segments of the community efficiently and effectively, meeting the goal set by the School Board of engaging parents and the community." Under the agreement with K12 Insight, FWCS will inform every parent and employee before the start of each school year about surveys they will be invited to participate in during the year. Parents, students, staff and community members will be asked to give school district leaders advice on a variety of issues. The engagement effort will be aided with online surveys allowing the public and employees to immediately send their thoughts and concerns to school leaders. Community members without internet access will have access to paper surveys or online opportunities will be made available in other venues. After the surveys, the community will be informed of the results. FWCS will pay $355,140 over a three-year period for the services of K12 Insight using Title I funds, including stimulus funds provided from the federal government. Title I funds are to be used for services in the highest poverty schools. Under the requirements of Title I, school districts are required to gather input from teachers, administrators, parents, community members and others to drive decisions on procedures, policies, budgeting, improvement efforts, program planning and more. K12 Insight has worked in school districts across the country, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Sacramento and for the American Association of School Administrators.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.