School surveys reveal highs and lows

Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.
Cayman Compass is the Cayman Islands' most trusted news website. We provide you with the latest breaking news from the Cayman Islands, as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

A summary report on surveys taken during a series of school inspections in the past year shows how various primary schools stack up against one another in terms of parent, staff and student assessments.

All three groups were encouraged to participate in surveys when inspectors from the Office of Education Standards visited their schools during the 2017-2018 academic year. Some schools saw greater participation than others, ranging from as few as 10 parent respondents at North Side’s Edna M. Moyle Primary to 95 respondents at Red Bay Primary.

The highest satisfaction came from those surveyed at Edna M. Moyle. On eight of the 11 survey questions, including one about overall satisfaction with educational quality, 100 percent of the parents gave positive responses.

While satisfaction levels varied, almost all fell into positive territory. Only seven responses to the 11 questions posed at 10 schools showed less than half of parents were satisfied. Three of those were at Bodden Town Primary.

Of the 23 parents who filled out the survey for the school, 48 percent were satisfied or happy with the overall quality of education. The same level agreed that parents were effectively involved in the work of the school, but just 29 percent felt their children were making progress in science.

Of the 13 teachers and staff taking the survey at Bodden Town, only 69 percent said the school was well led. The school has a new principal, Kimberly Watler, this year. Ms. Watler initially agreed to discuss the survey results, but did not respond to a follow-up call.

Savannah and Prospect primaries also scored low on leadership in the teacher and staff survey, with 67 and 62 percent respectively. East End Primary and Cayman Brac’s West End Primary both had 100 percent satisfaction for leadership among their teachers and staff.

Satisfaction with the overall quality of education was high, with six of the 10 schools receiving a 100 percent endorsement from teachers and staff. Lowest rated was West Bay’s Sir John A. Cumber Primary with 76 percent.

Half the teachers and staff at that school were dissatisfied with the behavior of students, and only 48 percent of parents said they thought student behavior was good at the school.

Both of those ratings were significantly lower than those of other schools, and Sir John A. Cumber students felt the same way. A survey of 111 fifth and sixth graders showed 43 percent felt student behavior was good and 60 percent said they felt safe at school, again the lowest rating among the 10 schools.

A voice message left at the school was not returned, but in a previous interview, Principal Paul Samuel said he and his staff believe the issue is related to a small group of problem students. He said the school is focused on addressing the situation and improving it.

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