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"This Is Parkway" Digital Magazine

Project Parkway

Subcommitte 2/C/2 Essential Question:
What plan will be developed to ensure that our students and adults understand and accept all members of our diverse population?

9/28/2009: What data will be collected to reveal current reality?

In collecting data around this question, our group decided to take a more qualitative approach. We will be conducting interviews with a number of Parkway stakeholders. By having interviews, we would get more authentic and personal responses. Linked below are the questions being ask of individuals. The interviews will be conducted October-January. We are meeting on October 5th to assign members to interviewees. We will compile the data in February in order to formulate recommendations. Members of our subcommittee will also do school site visits and complete a data collection form to record artifacts of acceptance and diversity awareness. On October 26th, we will analyze current data (climate surveys, achievement data, attendance, etc.) to look for patterns that would help our group make formal recommendations.

Interview document

3/1/2010: Key Findings

A. Positive Observations Revealed by the Data
  • The subcommittee was impressed by the responses of the elementary students. The majority of them expressed an understanding about the term diversity and defined it as differences. It was clear most of the students had had some exposure to what diversity means, yet there were some exceptions and misperceptions. Many of the students were able to describe diversity beyond the context of race. Abilities, culture, beliefs, religion, and food were all mentioned. It was a positive observation to see that most of our elementary students have the “gist” of what diversity means.
  • Of the responses returned from the high school students, about 91% of them indicated that they feel comfortable expressing their diversity at school.
  • The responses from the teachers varied across the district. It was a positive observation to see a number of them mention choosing curriculum to reflect the diversity of the district’s population, having open dialogue/discussion, and posters. The teachers, too, had a good understanding about diversity.
  • The parent group also indicated an understanding of diversity beyond the realm of race and was able to describe how it looked in the community.
  • The administrator surveys indicated that the work of ASAP and AAA should be continued to support students of color in their academic achievement. It was also mentioned how data is being used to make decisions about students.
  • Through the curriculum coordinator interviews, it became prevalent they are using the “creed standards” when developing new teachers.
  • Overall, the data generated from the surveys had positive results. The majority of Parkway’s community understands diversity and individuals feel comfortable to express it within our schools. We will continue to analyze the data and look for patterns that will help our subcommittee make recommendations for Project Parkway.
B. Identified Needs
  • Although the majority of the elementary students shared that they feel comfortable expressing their diversity, it was concerning to see about 20-25% of the responses (depending upon the region of the district) indicated they did not feel comfortable expressing their diversity. Some of the students shared they were afraid people would laugh at them or “think they are weird.” Students wrote they are made fun of for being different. A few indicated that it depends upon the teacher.
  • Although a majority of the middle/high school students felt comfortable expressing their diversity, a large majority (about 60%) did not know or indicated nothing about what the school was doing to celebrate diversity. Many of the students shared they would like to see more being done at the school or there are attempts that do not come to fruition. Please note: There was a limited number of responses from these levels and some areas were not represented.
  • In some areas of the district, there was a higher number of teachers who felt that diversity was not being celebrated at the school. About 16% of the teachers who responded felt there was not a celebration of diversity. Teachers also indicated they felt some cultures and races were celebrated more than others and was not fair.
  • One question on the parent survey was not clear. Our group wanted to know if parents knew of programs within the schools that educated the students about diversity. The question made it sound like programs for parents about diversity. About 80% of the parents indicated they were unsure or did not know of programs. Our subcommittee felt the results were somewhat skewed due to a poorly worded question. However, it did indicate that there was a lack of parent education about diversity.
C. (If Necessary) Additional Data Needed
  • No further data needed
D. Comments
  • Our group will continue to observe the data and look for patterns that will help us make recommendations for the district.