Annual Parent Survey Results

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Toward the end of each year, parents are given an opportunity to anonymously share their thoughts and feelings about each area of our school’s operations.  My faculty and I use this feedback to reflect on our practices and strengthen our program.

It is now time to share these results with you.  First of all, the survey was completed by 34 parents vs. 4 last year.  Therefore more parents responded, which is good, next year we will strive to reach more parents so that the validity of the data is stronger.

Let’s move on to the data we collected this year!

We received feedback from parents in all age groups.  Hopefully, in the future we will receive more feedback from the many parents who enroll their children in our Kids Club, extended day programs (7-8:30 am and 3:30-6 pm).

Our retention rate is exceptional.  All but one family, who may be moving out of town, has re-enrolled for next year.  We hope they are able to stay!  Another wonderful statistic to share with you is that many of our families have chosen to continue in the Galinsky Academy by enrolling their child in kindergarten at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.  17 out of the 18 enrolled for kindergarten at MJGDS in the coming year are from our VPK classes.  Our other Academy option for parents is to enroll in the kindergarten program at the Bernard and Alice Selevan Religious School.  For more details about this wonderful program, visit www.basrs.org  or contact Lois Tompkins, the principal of Galinsky Academy’s religious school at 268-4200 ext.  145.

Our overall satisfaction rating is promising.  On a scale of 0-10, our average ended up being 8.8.  Last year we scored an 8.7.  I am happy to see that with a higher number of parents completing the parent survey this year, our satisfaction rating continued to be high– but we still have room to grow.

We are pleased with our overall high marks in all areas of operations, curriculum and administrative support.

This year we redesigned our program by offering a Half Day Preschool Program (8:30 -12:30), Full Day Preschool Program (8:30-3:30) with extended day options before and after school (Kids Club).   As we became the Galinsky Academy, we also increased our number of school days by 10 to match the day school’s 180 days.  We offer one of the longest school years of any private preschool in Jacksonville and this year we included lunch-time in our half day program.

Children enrolled in our Full Day Preschool Program benefit from additional small group instruction, and attend afternoon resource classes in music, art, P.E., library and Jewish Studies at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.  These children were very proud to see some of their artwork displayed in the MJGDS art show this year!

This year we also introduced our new Discovery Studio and integrated science curriculum.   We added an experienced science educator to our faculty.  Greg Nagel brought in expertise in experiential teaching methods, exciting hands-on science classes and built our indoor-outdoor Discovery Studio.  The children spent a great deal of time in the studio and our garden, getting their hands dirty, experimenting, creating, exploring and figuring out how things work.  We have plans to continue to expand this program and add to our Discovery garden in the coming year!

So, how do we rate in the area of academics and how well prepared our students are for kindergarten?

Within the first 30 days of kindergarten, one of the requirements we must meet as a school who offers the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) program, is to make sure our students undergo tests which measure their kindergarten readiness skills.  These scores are compared to all students in Florida entering kindergarten.  For the past 7 years, our VPK students have scored in the top percentiles of all students in the state and each year our school has earned an “A” !

This year the state required that all VPK students take an assessment twice during the VPK year and that these scores be submitted to the state database.  I chose to have our teachers administer the optional third test mid-year so that we could use this information to better plan for instruction and target the skills that each individual child needed to work on.

I am thrilled with the results of the final assessment given a few weeks ago.

Our VPK students are very well prepared.  They scored in the “Exceeding Expectations” range in the four categories tested.

Assessment Measure

Max. Score

DuBow Preschool VPK student average

Results

Print Knowledge

12

11.5

Exceeding Expectations

Phonological Awareness

14

12.5

Exceeding

Expectations

Oral Language/ Vocabulary

23

20.5

Exceeding

Expectations

Mathematics

18

16.4

Exceeding Expectations

Communication is extremely important.  We want you to hear more than, “we painted, and ate strawberries today.”  Together we will make the most impact on your child’s progress when we communicate effectively.

We continue to have high marks in all areas of communication.  The area I will work on with my faculty in the coming year is in providing consistent feedback on each child’s individual development.   We gather data on each child daily through observations, and evaluations using developmental checklists and age appropriate assessments.  Each teacher creates a portfolio and shares the work samples, photos and anecdotal records with parents at conferences in the Fall and Spring.   We do not send home worksheets and samples each week as these methods are not the best approaches to teaching preschool aged children.  They learn through experiences and hands-on activities.  Often there is no product to share with the parent.  The children are making great gains in development; however, parents do not see concrete examples as they do in elementary school.  So, we will look for other means of sharing information on your child’s growth with you!  I am currently working with the VPK team to develop digital portfolios, similar to those used at our day school.  Stay tuned for more details!

Kids Club provides care for our children before and after school.  We offer flexible schedules to meet our families’ needs.  Some of our children enjoy our morning “Breakfast Club” with Ms. Cheryl and Ms. Robin.  These children are greeted early each day, eat breakfast, play, read, and prepare for the day of school to come. Many children stay with us after school.  This is a fun, yet structured time that provides enriching inside and outside activities and play.

Only one parent rated this program and I am pleased they are happy; however, I hope we receive more feedback in the future so we can really reflect on what is working and where we need to improve.

I take my role as the director of the preschool and early childhood department very seriously.   I am passionate about early childhood education and know that what we do in preschool can have lasting and positive impacts on a child’s development, and future learning.  It is my goal to build a relationship with each family so that I can help teachers meet the needs and expectations that each family has for their children.

When you enroll in our school, you and your child become part of our family and the larger Galinsky Academy and Jacksonville Jewish Center community.  We make a commitment to each family to help partner with you to help your child progress academically, socially, physically and spiritually.  I organize not only the preschool program but also work with our wonderful JJC clergy to offer many opportunities for our families to come together to bond, learn, pray, and build friendships.  I encourage you to come to our holiday programming, playgroups, Gan Shabbat, and other fun opportunities as they come.  My door is always open and I value your feedback, comments and suggestions.  Please feel free to contact me at any time at scanady@dubowpreschool.org.

Thank you to all the parents who took the time and care to fill out the Annual Parent Survey.   In addition to the multiple-choice questions, there were opportunities for open-ended responses.  They added an additional layer of depth; one which is difficult to summarize for a post like this.  But please know that all comments will be shared with those they concern as we use this data to make enhancements and improvements headed into next year.  Overall, we are very pleased with how satisfied our parents are with how the school is doing; however, we are always thoughtfully examining what we are doing, researching best practices, collaborating with the clergy and the many educational experts in the Galinsky Academy in our quest to continue to grow and strengthen our program.  We believe, as Dr. Jon Mitzmacher says, that in our school there is “a floor, but no ceiling”.  It is our desire to provide a solid foundation for our children, meet their individual needs and prepare them for a life long journey of learning.


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