Last Updated: Wednesday - 01/05/2011
December 10, 2001
School district pleased with survey results
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Edmonton Catholic Schools (ECS) received a high rating of satisfaction from students and parents.
Released at the regular board meeting, Dec. 3, the survey found that 90 per cent of the parents were satisfied with the quality of education their children were receiving, while 89 per cent of students were satisfied.
"We were thrilled. The results were outstanding," Superintendent Dale Ripley, told the WCR.
March 2001, ECS surveyed 19,414 parents and 14,617 students, highlighting various themes that include Catholicity, safety, learning environment, information technology, parental involvement among others.
This school district is the fourth largest school jurisdiction in Alberta, with more than 32,000 students in 81 schools being served by over 3,000 staff.
From the parents' point of view the Catholic Christian atmosphere, religious celebrations and schools' partnership with the parishes are very satisfactory - they rated them from 94 to 96 per cent.
For ECS it is important to measure how the parents and students are satisfied with the Catholicity in the schools.
"Our schools are Catholic . . . so we're asking the question 'What's the difference?'" said Ripley.
Schools observe the liturgical year and include opening liturgy, Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter in their celebrations.
Students were asked about the importance of prayer, religious celebrations, demonstration of Christian values, opportunities for community service among other topics.
Similar satisfaction surveys have been administered since 1996 and four separate survey instruments were designed for students in Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, Grades 10-12 and parents.
School board chair Judy Buddle, said the district works hard on the Catholicity of its schools.
"We are starting to show people what's the difference in terms of benefit for society . . . and (benefits) especially for our children," Buddle said.
Joan Carr, director of educational planning and administrative services, agreed and said that Catholicity is the strength of ECS.
"The results were extraordinary and we're just very proud of the work that's happening in ECS, the work of our staff, parents and children," Carr said.
Ripley identified that satisfaction among parents of children with special needs is an area that needs improvement. In this area ECS received 79 per cent approval from parents.
"Anything that is under 80 we would target. We'd like to hit over 80 in all areas," Ripley said.
Two years ago, student safety was a concern for ECS. "We've done a lot in that regard and we see that those numbers have gone up by 15 to 20 per cent."
Involvement in community service as part of students' school responsibilities rated low at 47 per cent.
Ripley said that they would have to evaluate the survey in that area because some high schools make community service part of their religious education curriculum while others do not.
Buddle said community service "is extremely worthwhile."
Her 17-year old son volunteered for Mustard Seed Church and the Christmas Bureau and became a Eucharistic minister in their parish as part of his 30 to 40 hours of community service.
"I would like to see it mandated in all high schools," Buddle said.
More information about ECS can be found at www.ecs.edmonton.ab.ca.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.