School district considers results of recent survey


URBANA — District 116 is taking steps to improve its schools. Last week, leaders looked over the results of their Thought Exchange survey. Now, they’re trying to take what the community said and apply it to the schools.

A lot of the responses were positive, but people also mentioned they’d like to see change. Superintendent Don Owen says most people who responded are happy with teachers and administrators.

He says the district needs to build on that trust to address other concerns. Some include classroom behavior, management and class size.

Owen says, by far, the biggest concerns were funding and budget issues. He says those are somewhat out of the district’s control due to the lack of a state budget. Issues like that will take time for the district to fully address.

Owens says they’ll assign focus groups to work on solutions to concerns, but individual schools are already taking steps.

“Each of the principals, as soon as they got the data back, they started sharing it with their staff and saying, ‘Look, this is what people are saying. This is what people’s perceptions of our buildings are and how can we incorporate that into our continuous improvement plans?’ that they were working on throughout the school year.”

He says the district is making a point of listening to what students think is and isn’t working in their schools.

Plans are to offer a second part to the survey. It would build on what was found in this one and if it accurately reflects what most of the community thinks.

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