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Parent Survey 2017

image of a cougar pawParental Involvement is key to the success of all stakeholders at J.W. Coon Elementary. In December, we administered a parent survey to attain parental input into the decision-making process. Below are two links. The first link reflects the final tally for the multiple choice portion of the survey. The second link displays the results of the open-ended questions as well as the school’s responses to any questions or concerns. Even if you did not complete a survey, we hope these answers will help you better understand the J.W. Coon experience.

  1. What do you like best about our school?

Commenter 2: My son attended this school when he was young. I’ve always like the staff, the atmosphere.

Commenter 3: Cannot name just one thing!

Commenter 4: Staff & Size of class

Commenter 5: The Class Dojo

Commenter 6: The one-on-one attention my child receives from her teacher when she needs help.

Commenter 7: I like that yall are well organized and that yall have staff that’s worried about the kids learning.

Commenter 8: Success and our children future education is promoted

Commenter 9: Curriculum is _____________ (Sorry, we couldn’t read your handwriting.)

Commenter 10: Blank

Commenter 11: location, staff very friendly

Commenter 12: Everybody knows everyone that gives confidence to the parents and children to feel safe on it. It’s a nice place where parents have good access and relationships with teachers and stuff, at least I’ve been always very happy and pleased with my child’s teachers. The teachers work hard to help students and guide them not just on the academics.

Commenter 13: I love that my son’s teacher and TA’s are so invested in him as a person. They see him as more than a student.

Commenter 14: It’s close knit. The teachers & administrators support one another in the success of children.

Commenter 15: I like the communication that Ms. Voter displayed when my child was in her class. I felt like she actually cared about the learning potential my child had.

Commenter 16: Blank

Commenter 17: The teacher

Commenter 18: I like that I am informed on a regular basis on my child and can monitor them on Class DoJo.

Commenter 19: Blank

Commenter 20: Blank

Commenter 21: The devotion of the teachers to make sure our students succeed and be the best that they can be? The love and kindness they show our children!

Commenter 22: Blank

Commenter 23: The teacher do let you know what is going on with your child.

Commenter 24: All teachers really care about the kids.

Commenter 25: Classes are small. All teachers know the students.

Commenter 26: The way I am always notified about weekly news and faculty is very nice & friendly. I like this school.

Commenter 27: Awesome teachers. Clothes closet so kids aren’t left out. Class DoJo.

Commenter 28: Class Dojo keeping all parents actively involved in their kids productions.

Commenter 29: The communication between teachers and students and understanding of what is to be expected from both. My childs grades and attitude about school has approved, tremendously since attending J.W. Coon.

Commenter 30: Class DoJo because it allows parents to keep track with the children daily.

Commenter 31: Weekly reminders

Commenter 32: Direct access to teachers through class dojo

Commenter 33: My child’s teacher gives me regular feedback on her progress and strategies being employed to facilitate her needs.

Commenter 34: I have been so impressed with the amount of care and attention my child receives from school staff. Small class sizes are wonderful. J.W. Coon should serve as a model for other Elementary Schools in Cumberland County.

Commenter 35: My child has had GREAT teachers so far. He is a second grader and has been there since Pre-k. Small class sizes, so he gets more one-on-one.

Commenter 36: That it is all about the children.

Commenter 37: I like the weekly phone calls to keep me informed about the goings-on of the school for the upcoming week.

Commenter 38: I like how my child is happy and eager to go to school.

Commenter 39: How the teachers keep me on track with everything he does or needs. I love how they are patient and kind with him and conform to his learning needs. They have great teachers & staff.

Commenter 40: She has only been there a few weeks.

Commenter 41: I like my child’s kindergarten teacher, and that my child has access to free meals.

Commenter 42: The teachers work hard to help the students succeed.

Commenter 43: What I love best about J.W. Coon is class DoJo. It allows me as a parent to keep track of my children at all times. Also it gives my children Father who is military and in a different state to check the kids progress.

Commenter 44: I love the way the teachers work well with the kids and parents.

Commenter 45: It feels safe. Great environment.

Commenter 46: I like the weekly announcements & other communications from the school. I feel informed.

Commenter 47: Activities, learning progress

Commenter 48: Nothing

Commenter 49: Security and work ethic of teachers and principal. Enthusiasm.

Commenter 50: My children enjoys learning with his teacher.

Commenter 51: When situations arise the parents are always notified in a reasonable amount of time.

Commenter 52: The great support of the staff for all students.

Commenter 53: Phone calls with announcements keep us prepared and on task.

Commenter 54: That the school keeps me informed about my child’s grades.

Commenter 55: His teacher has a lot of patience with Devin. The school social worker has been excellent helping & advising me. I really appreciate everyone that has really worked w/my grandson. A very friendly & warm surrounding!

Commenter 56: Security measures are a plus.

Commenter 57: Mrs. Blanding is a great principal & the teachers are all awesome.

Commenter 58: I like all the activities hosted by the school.

Commenter 59: The structure and how informative and friendly the staff seem.

Commenter 60: I feel it is a very safe environment. My son seems to really enjoy going to this school. I am very happy with his learning and his teacher’s honesty.

Commenter 61: Individualized attention for students with special needs.

Commenter 62: My child has concerned teachers that communicate well with me.

  1. What do you like least about our school?

Comment 1: Kids have to walk outside to get to other buildings! EC needs to participate be involved in more activities. Response: Unfortunately, our school was built in the 1960s and the current staff does not have the power nor funding to change this. However, your participation in organizations like our PTA and the School Improvement Team could allow your voice to productively reach the powers-that-be for the school system. Please contact the Parent Facilitator Davina Adkins if you are interested in joining either. The students in the Exceptional Children Activities are allowed to participate in all activities except after-school tutoring. This is only because over 90% of our Exceptional Children live outside our attendance area and our buses cannot transport those students home. In addition, due to the EC identification of some of our EC separate setting students, they would require an Instructional Assistant to stay with them and these positions are only funded during the school day by the Federal Government. Parking Lot: More parking is on the way. According to the Operations Department for CCS, a community rec center is being built behind our school. This will allow us to use their expansive parking lot. Unfortunately, construction is on a five-year plan and a specific start date has not been given to Ms. Blanding.

Commenter 2: Nothing so far

Commenter 3: Brand new teachers coming in with no experience, always being placed with my children and afterwards, they have problems in learning. Response: One of the negative drawbacks of being near a military installation is that this area is quite transient. When our troops move, their spouses have to move too. In addition, our transiency rate is in line with schools that serve in high-poverty students since these schools face challenges that are not present in schools in more affluent areas.

Commenter 4: Would like to have spelling words sent home. Response: Please contact the teacher directly. If this isn’t resolved, contact the Principal. Sometimes papers get lost between school and home.

Commenter 5: Having to walk my child to class @ 7:40. Response: The building opens at 7:15 for students. The buses arrive by 7:25 at the latest. Since the tardy bell rings at 7:45, most students that arrive at 7:40 will not make it to school on time without running which is against school safety rules. You are free to drop your child off as early as 7:15 and you will be able to remain in your vehicle. If you are interested in your child riding the bus contact Ms. Honeycutt, our Assistant Principal.

Commenter 6: The school bus. My child’s bus driver does not pick up at the same time from day to day and it causes me to be late for work at least twice a week. Response: Contact Ms. Honeycutt, our Assistant Principal. She can only fix problems she knows about. She’ll fix it immediately.

Commenter 7: There’s nothing that I don’t like least.

Commenter 8: Lack of teacher’s communication if a note wrote to teacher with a phone # of parent – that shows parent concerned and teacher need to be more considerate. Response: If you ever write a note and you don’t receive a response within 24 hours, call the teacher. If that proves unsuccessful, call the Principal.

Commenter 9: Uniform standards! Response: The uniform standards were approved by over 80% of our parents, 100% of our Student Government, and 100% of the school board. If you are having a financial hardship concerning uniforms, contact the school social worker.

Commenter 10: Blank

Commenter 11: N/A

Commenter 12: Sometimes there’s way too many rules that sometimes are excessive. Response: Unfortunately, we have had to adjust our rules with the times we leave in. Most rules were added when someone did something that caused harm to our students/staff or impeded learning.

Commenter 13: Blank

Commenter 14: Blank

Commenter 15: Lack of communication some teacher display. Response: All teachers have email on our school website, which was shared with parents in the student/parent handbook and the first quarter newsletter. Have you emailed the teacher? Teachers in the younger grades use daily charts/logs that are sent home daily. Teachers in upper grades use Class DoJo. If none of these tools are working for you, please feel free to contact the Principal to discuss your concerns.

Commenter 16: Blank

Commenter 17: The 7:45 bell. Other schools start at 8:30 and it’s been shown to be effective. Response: According to which research has a late start time shown to be effective? You should share this with CCS Transportation. CCS Transportation determines our bell times based on the fact that we are forced to share buses with other schools that start at 8:30. Only 3 of the 7 Douglas Byrd Attendance area elementary schools start later than 7:45.

Commenter 18: I don’t like that there are so many students are in the class. Responses: According to state guidelines, K-3 classes should have a 1 to 21.5 teacher to student ratio. In grades, 4 and 5, there should be a 1:24 ratio. We are beneath state guidelines in all of our grades, except 5th. Due to the lack of a highly-qualified, Cougar-rific teacher candidate, all 32 fifth graders were in one class. However, a substitute was assisting with the class from August to December, to keep us in compliance with the ratio and serve student needs. As of January 3rd, a second teacher has been hired and we are now in compliance with the 1:24 ratio set by the state.

Commenter 19: Blank

Commenter 20: I don’t like the fact that parents have to have background check just to monitor their child – in class progress! Response: Due to inappropriate behavior by some parents, we have had to create this rule. We have parents with felony records and others that are sex offenders, so we have to keep these types of folks away from our babies. To visit once for 30 minutes or less, you don’t need a background check. To visit more than this, you will need to complete the brief background check. We know this is easy for our parents that have lived law abiding lives.

Commenter 21: Sometimes things come up like a special event or family visit and if we want our child to participate its considered unexcused. I don’t agree with this rule. I do agree school is important and every minute counts, but family is also very important! Response: I agree that family is very important. Our school’s attendance rules are dictated by CCS Attendance Guidelines.

Commenter 22: Blank

Commenter 23: Nothing

Commenter 24: Nothing

Commenter 25: Not another fifth grade teacher. Response: There was a small pool of qualified candidates. We finally hired a teacher in later December. She began on January 3rd.

Commenter 26: Nothing really. This is his first year here.

Commenter 27: No issues

Commenter 28: Blank

Commenter 29: No negative comments so far.

Commenter 30: There is honestly noting that I don’t like about J.W. Coon.

Commenter 31: N/A

Commenter 32: The school calls home for unnecessary reasons; ie spilling milk on shirt, and other reasons. Response: We call because we care. All PreK and Kindergarten parents were told to send in a spare uniform on this year’s supply lists so the students can change clothes without the parents being called.

Commenter 33: The transition from one subject to the next is a bit too rigid. At times, the kids need just a bit more time to complete a task but must stop because the time on the clock says so. Response: We agree. We have asked the power-that-be if we could lengthen our school day and we were denied. We have requested this again this year (December) and we have been told that there is a 99% chance that we will be allowed to extend our school day next year. Currently we have Cougar Time in all grade levels. This is a time where teachers can spiral back and help students that need extra assistance.

Commenter 34: No complaints. 100% Satisfied!

Commenter 35: Nothing so far.

Commenter 36: Not nothing that comes to my attention.

Commenter 37: That my emails to the teacher never gets answered, but the administrator Ms. Blanding responds promptly, even on nights/weekends. Response: If you do not get a response from a teacher, forward those emails to Ms. Blanding.

Commenter 38: At the moment, there is nothing.

Commenter 39: Blank

Commenter 40: Blank

Commenter 41: My child’s one-on-one teacher and occupational therapist do not contact me with this progress. I do not like the uniform requirements.

Commenter 42: The school could communicate better. Response: We utilize a Facebook page, grade-level newsletters, weekly Parentlink Calls, email, etc.

Commenter 43: There are not many things I don’t like about J.W. Coon. In fact I can’t think of 1 thing to mention at the moment.

Commenter 44: Blank

Commenter 45: Uniforms required. Response: Please see earlier responses.

Commenter 46: I noticed that some teachers speak harshly to students. This may be caused by lack of support for the teachers – ex. The student to teacher ratio is too high, exhausting. Response: “Harshly” – Please address this with Ms. Blanding or Ms. Honeycutt. “Student to teacher ratio” – Please see earlier response on this topic.

Commenter 47: N/A

Commenter 48: Teachers that control their temper w/younger kids and get mad when they ask certain questions. Response: Please address this with the Principal or Assistant Principal, since this is not in line with the school vision or the other parent responses on this survey.

Commenter 49: Uniform standards Response: See earlier responses.

Commenter 50: None

Commenter 51: Parking Response: Please see earlier response on parking.

Commenter 52: N/A

Commenter 53: Free lunch/even if you pack their lunch they have to get a tray very wasteful. Response: I agree and that is why this isn’t our policy. You need to contact Ms. Blanding about this.

Commenter 54: Having to pay a dollar for dress down. Response: This is not our policy. Kids that pay for afterschool dances get to dress down. Winter Spirit Week was free to all kids.

Commenter 55: N/A

Commenter 56: The lunches my child is fed for breakfast and/or lunch.

Commenter 57: The threat of ISS on a good student b/c of missing a belt or wrong socks. I can see the pants & shirt. But belt & socks, really?! Response: Please see earlier uniform responses.

Commenter 58: I can’t think of anything I don’t like.

Commenter 59: No complaints yet.

Commenter 60: I honestly have nothing I dislike about this school. But I think more leniency on the dress code would be nice. Response: Please see earlier responses.

Commenter 61: Blank

Commenter 62: N/A

  1. What is one suggestion you would like to offer to improve our school?

Comment 1: More handicap accessible (Bathroom, more ramps, sink, more teachers in classrooms with special needs!) Response: While working alongside CCS Operations and EC services, we have met and in some cases surpassed the standards for ADA compliance. Each of our Separate Setting restrooms have restrooms within their rooms to minimize travel. In addition, all of these rooms have sinks in the classrooms and restrooms. There are ramps leading to all buildings and each Separate Setting room that has wheelchair students have ramps leading from the rear emergency doors.

Commenter 2: I can’t think of anything at this time but if anything changes I will let you know.

Commenter 3: More communication for parents that cannot attend functions, before 5pm because of work. Especially single parents. Response: Thank you for your interest in your child’s education. Please contact the Principal or Parent Facilitator directly with specific ideas that we can implement. I can tell you that if a parent missed Curriculum Night, Kindergarten Night, or Read to Achieve Night (3rd Grade), the literature that was discussed was sent home via the students. The remaining nights this year have been “fun nights”, i.e. Hallo-Read Night and Winter Concert Night.

Commenter 4:?

Commenter 5: Remove the walking the child to class part if they arrive after 7:40. Response: Please see the earlier response under Question 2.

Commenter 6: Besides the school bus issue, I have no suggestions to offer. In my opinion you guys are doing a great job teaching my child. I am very happy with my child’s school.

Commenter 7: I don’t have any.

Commenter 8: Better parent and teacher communication. Response: Please see the earlier response under Question 2.

Commenter 9: Stress lesson uniforms focus more on education. Response: Only 7 out of 240 students have three or more violations, so it seems that the system is working.

Commenter 10: Blank

Commenter 11: Heated buses it very cold in winter season. Response: We agree, but this is out of our control. The buses that have heat do not have a tendency to warm up as fast our cars.

Commenter 12: Having more afterschool programs that involve parents. I know a lot of parents don’t participate but some of us are very interested in them. Response: Thanks for your suggestion. Please give specific ideas of programs you would like us to do to our Parent Facilitator, Ms. Adkins or PTA or SIT. Parent turnout for non-singing programs has remained quite low. I know the staff would like to see more than staff members at events. Encourage your neighbors to participate. We are here for them!

Commenter 13: More school functions for special needs kids. Response: Thanks for your suggestion. Please give specific ideas of programs you would like us to do to our Parent Facilitator, Ms. Adkins or SIT. We’ve never had a parent of a special needs student to serve on SIT. We would love to have this added input.

Commenter 14: Blank

Commenter 15: When my child went to a different school or even she attended here in a different grade, the teachers had communication logs. This way there was open communication between parent and teacher. When a parent sends a note and it goes unanswered or delivered by the child who doesn’t remember what the teacher said, it is VERY frustrating. Communication logs are great and every teacher should have one. Response: Please see my response to Commenter 8 on Question 2.

Commenter 16: Blank

Commenter 17: Again start classes just a little to help people who have night jobs even family issue. Response: See response to Question 2 for your suggestion.

Commenter 18: Blank

Commenter 19: Blank

Commenter 20: Blank

Commenter 21: We love J.W. Coon and all the wonderful staff! Wish there was a way that children could attend an event, vacation, or family visit without being excused. Not sure what a good solution would be. (Maybe allow a few days during the school year that you can sign your child out for family matters and reward students with a certificate if they don’t use these days.) Response: Those students that don’t use up their days are already rewarded at our quarterly awards programs. As for finding time for vacations, events, our staff is held to the same standards. Ms. Blanding once shared the story of how her cruise vacation increased almost $1,000 because she had to travel during an actual school vacation time versus during school days. The struggle is real.

Commenter 22: Blank

Commenter 23: More tutoring for kids. Response: We only have enough federal funding to offer tutoring to our 3-5 students at this time. For Camp Cougar Phase 2: We invited almost forty students to tutoring and only 10 students were approved to stay for tutoring by their parents.

Commenter 24: Blank

Commenter 25: Find another 5th Grade Teacher Response: We have.

Commenter 26: I’m ok with the way things are. I wish I could do more but just don’t have finances or enough time w/sports and other kids hard to juggle all that & PTA I am very sorry.

Commenter 27: No issues.

Commenter 28: Blank

Commenter 29: More afterschool programs. Response: Please contact our Parent Facilitator with specific ideas.

Commenter 30: One suggestion I have is for any kid that struggles at home or school be allowed to attend tutoring. Response: Please see earlier response on this topic.

Commenter 31: N/A

Commenter 32: N/A

Commenter 33: Teachers should be given a little more control over when its time to move into the next subject. Response: See response to Question 2.

Commenter 34: The administration and staff at JW Coon are top-notch. Keep up the good work!

Commenter 35: Nothing so far.

Commenter 36: That if a child has some type of disability in some way or another that needs more help than others. That they get it. Response: If their IEP is not being followed, please contact our Case Teacher, Ms. Wilson.

Commenter 37: Please make it clear of the EC Program students, if they are required to do the things that the other students are in the weekly messages. Also let them be able to earn free dress days for completing work (winter/break packets, etc). Response: EC students were eligible for Winter Break packets if their teachers had turned in their names as possible candidates for retention for the school year. These guidelines were outlined in our School Improvement Plan that has been made public. The code to the Digital School Improvement Plan was shared with parents earlier this year on the first quarter newsletter. It is called NCSTAR.

Commenter 38: Nothing at the moment. Everything is wonderful.

Commenter 39: More handicap accessible stuff especially ramps. Makes it longer and more difficult with wheelchairs getting around the campus. Response: Please see earlier response on this issue.

Commenter 40: Blank

Commenter 41: Blank

Commenter 42: Communication and tools for keeping kids on grade level. Response: Tools for helping kids were distributed at Curriculum Night and they were distributed at grade level nights. There are also tools on our school website. I’m sure if you contact your child’s teacher, they can help you gather the necessary tools too.

Commenter 43: One thing I would like to see improvement in is tutoring sessions. I would like for my children to attend subject I see struggle in at home. Sometimes teachers don’t see what we see as a parents, and I as a parent feel I confuse the kids teaching them a different way. Response: Please contact Ms. Honeycutt with any concerns about afterschool tutoring.

Commenter 44: Give more notice about upcoming field trips so parents can come up with the money. Response: I will look into this.

Commenter 45: More free activities. Response: I’m a little confused. Our Parent/Family programs are free. Dances have a fee to pay for the snacks. If you can contact Ms. Adkins or Ms. Blanding to expound on this that would be great.

Commenter 46: Please fix/replace the dangerous playground. Thank you! Response: Thank you. We have requested new playground equipment and those requests have been denied. We were told that PTA can pay for one and the county will install it. Playground equipment can run $20,000 – $40,000 and our PTA barely collects 10% of that through membership dues and fundraisers. However, the equipment is regularly inspected by the county and the pieces that have issues are repaired through work orders.

Commenter 47: N/A

Commenter 48: Better teaches, Better teaching, NO school uniforms Response: Please see earlier responses.

Commenter 49: Stress less on uniform standards and more on education. Response: Only 7 of 240 students have 3 or more uniform violations, so the system seems to be working.

Commenter 50: None

Commenter 51: We need more room to park. Response: Please see earlier responses.

Commenter 52: N/A

Commenter 53: Being able to say “no thank you” if you have a packed lunch. Response: Please see my response to you under question 2.

Commenter 54: More music learning activities because kids love to sing dance and learn while doing it. Response: Thank you. All of our classes integrate music through technology. Like any strategy, it may not be used every day due to curriculum guidelines.

Commenter 55: The teacher’s aide, to have more time, w/the teacher for help. Response: We would like that too. However, Instructional Assistant allotments are dictated by State and Federal regulations.

Commenter 56: The food menu needs to improve, involving fresh fruits and vegetables, non GMO foods and more appealing healthier foods. Response: Child Nutrition Services is regulated by Federal legislation and guidelines. None of the food is fried and increased nutritious foods was added in 8 years ago after First Lady Michelle Obama made recommendations about this.

Commenter 57: Maybe more fundraisers (candy sales, cookie dough). Response: After working with our Parent Representatives on PTA and SIT for the last few years, it was discussed that this creates a hardship on our families that already qualify for free lunch. Many parents end up just buying the fundraiser items so their child gets credit for selling something and this means more money out of their pockets. However, we always accept donations from folks with deeper pockets.

Commenter 58: I have no suggestions to offer.

Commenter 59: No suggestions to give at this time.

Commenter 60: N/A

Commenter 61: N/A

Commenter 62: N/A

Published by Allysha Keels on January 3, 2018
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