DCS to pilot school climate survey

DCS is partnering with the State Education Department as one of 100 school districts to pilot a U.S. Department of Education school climate survey to help develop school safety and student achievement initiatives.

The following letter is being sent to parents and guardians of DCS students:

Dear Parent or Guardian:

The Duanesburg Central School District has chosen to be part of New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) pilot of the U.S. Department of Education school climate surveys. There is an increasing awareness among educators in New York and the country about the benefits that a positive school climate promotes, including the positive impact on school safety, student self-esteem, emotional well-being and mental health, as well as lower incidence of substance abuse, student absenteeism and suspension.

Roughly 40 school districts across the state participated in the pilot program in 2017-18. This year, Duanesburg is one of over 100 schools participating.  In 2020-21, the survey will become part of NYSED’s school climate index which includes VADIR and DASA. We will be administering three different surveys in May: a parent/guardian survey, staff survey, and a student survey for grades 5-12.

The district will form a school climate improvement team, using the school climate survey and other relevant data to develop and implement a school climate action plan.  We plan on sharing this information with the school community.

Students in grade 5-12 will be asked to take the survey, as will parents/guardians K-12.  The survey will be online May 6  and close on May 27.  Parents/guardians will receive an email/text containing the link through the use of our One Call Now System to take the survey.

The following are facts about the survey:
1.  It is totally voluntary. Your child does not have to participate. You do not have to give a reason for not participating. Your child’s participation, or non-participation, will not affect other relationships or services he or she is entitled to as a student of this school.  Students are not required to answer all questions, only those that they want to answer. (We do encourage participation and to answer honestly so we can reflect on our practice and find ways to improve our school climate)

2.  It is totally anonymous. The survey is designed to protect your child’s privacy. No names or any other identifying information will ever be recorded.

This is an example of the questioning for students:
US Department of Education (USDE) Sample Questions Student School Climate Survey
1. Adults at this school treat all students respectfully.
o Strongly Agree
o Agree
o Disagree
o Strongly Disagree

2. People of different cultural backgrounds, races, or ethnicities get along well at this school.
o Strongly Agree
o Agree
o Disagree
o Strongly Disagree

If you approve your child’s participation, you do not need to return this form. If you do not want your child to participate, simply sign and return the attached refusal form to your child’s principal’s office no later than May 3, 2019. If you return the form, your child will be given an alternative activity to do during the survey period.

Thank you for you continued support and for working with us to continually improve our practice and to provide the best environment for all children.

Frank Macri

Duanesburg Central School District 2018-19 School Climate Parent/Guardian Refusal Form

If you DO NOT want your child to participate, please complete and sign this form:
I do not give my consent for my child(ren),
1. (name)
2. (name)
3. (name)
4. (name)
5. (name)

to participate in the 2018-19 U.S. Department of  Education School Climate Survey.

Parent/Guardian Signature:

If you do not want your child to participate, please deliver or mail this form no later than Friday, May 5, to your child’s building principal:

Mrs. Jodi Marvin
Duanesburg Jr./Sr. High School
163 School Drive
Delanson, NY 12053

Mrs. Andrea Conover
Duanesburg Elementary
165 Chadwick Road
Delanson, NY 12053