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New report shows areas of strength, room for growth in district

New report shows areas of strength, room for growth in district
New report shows areas of strength, room for growth in district

For several weeks this spring stakeholders in the school district were asked to share their honest opinions about our schools. It was all part of a market research project designed to help school leaders understand the perceptions people have of Stillwater Area Public Schools and gain insights as to why families make the educational choices they do.

The project included an online survey, individual interviews and small focus groups conducted by an outside consultant. More than 1,000 parents, staff members, students and community members took part, including individuals without children and families of students attending district schools, private schools, charter schools and opting to home school.

Respondents had the opportunity to share their thoughts about our schools, identify strengths and weaknesses, and rate how well the district stacks up to its competition. As part of the final report, recommendations were also made as to steps district leaders can take to help engage with the community to improve our schools and envision what comes next for our district. View the full report.

Overview of Findings

Teachers and staff were recognized throughout the study for their care and concern of students. Respondents also recognized the district for the availability of support and services for students, and cited the strong sense of community and Pony Pride within the district. When comparing Stillwater schools to other schools in the area, respondents viewed Stillwater Area Public Schools as the best overall option for families. The district also ranked best for its tailored educational opportunities for students as well as its arts, clubs and athletic opportunities.

Of the concerns raised in the study, many were linked to the pandemic and its lingering effect on students. Respondents expressed concerns about academic performance, behavioral disruptions and staffing shortages. There were also concerns about past decisions and a perceived lack of transparency.

District administrators are reviewing all of the data within the report and will be using the information to determine how best to meet the needs of students and families now and into the future. Throughout the school year, community members will be invited to engage in conversations about what’s next for the district as leaders work to develop a new strategic plan. Watch for more details coming soon.


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