In our November ISACS parent survey, we asked for feedback regarding individual academic departments in the school and were able to compare your feedback this year with results from 2008 and also against the feedback from thousands of other ISACS parents at our peer independent schools.

Above is a graph that outlines our performance against those two benchmarks. This year’s results are in brown.

We are pleased to see that in every area, parents are feeling better about the program than in 2008. In almost all cases, we also exceed the ISACS norms.

(It is important to note here that these results show the top two responses — excellent, very good — from a five-point Likert scale. The other three responses are good, fair, poor. Therefore, it is not accurate to extrapolate that the percentages not listed above are dissatisfied with the program in those areas.)

The data would indicate that our strongest perceived areas are English and mathematics. As you can easily see, technology remains a laggard. What is interesting, however, is that the area also lags within the results of all ISACS schools. This is a hugely important area, and one that the faculty, administration, and trustees are actively discussing.

We are pleased to see the positive responses to some of the changes that we have been making in our science program. There is still a long way to go, but the faculty have been working very, very hard this year on updating curriculum and embedding more lab work into the Upper School program.

Behind the scenes, our history department has been reviewing our offerings and curriculum sequencing. The addition of our 4th grade this year is going to cause a bit of a shift in the courses moving forward, and we have been actively exploring ways to improve and to best prepare our students for high level college work.

I’ll continue to share results from this survey over the next few weeks. Our Athletic Review committee will be collecting that survey data and preparing a separate report later in the year.