School survey sparks concern among students

Oct 25, 2018

At the Old Rochester Regional School Committee meeting on Oct. 24, student representatives brought up concerns about student safety and the atmosphere at the school.

The students, Gates Tenerowicz and Alex Wurl, based their concerns on a Department of Education survey that students had the option to take by hand after MCAS testing. They were not allowed to discuss the answers in detail because of the survey’s confidential nature.

Most concerning to the students was the fact that the number of students who felt unsafe at school was higher than the state average.

Tenerowicz and Wurl later clarified that students had a positive response to questions about how they felt with teachers and in the classroom. However they still felt unsafe in schools, which the student representatives took to mean that they must feel less safe around their peers. 

They also reported that many students did not know that the school offered emotional help, or did not think it was available to them.

The survey did yield some positive findings, however, and the school ranked higher than average in the ability for students to perform extra coursework.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Elise Frangos, said that the results of the Department of Education survey ran contrary to results that the school collected via an online assessment tool called Panorama.  That survey of about one thousand students indicated that about 85 percent of students were satisfied with school safety.

“I would like to get more information in front of everybody before we address it,” said Superintendent Douglas White.

The students hope to explore the issue further with focus groups in November and December.