I mentioned to you a while ago that one of the challenges The École faces is preserving our identity despite an everchanging demographic–there is a constant flow of families that join us and families that leave. Last year, those arrivals and departures were coupled with my wish–as a newcomer myself–to bring a fresh perspective to the school. As The École was already well-established and well-esteemed, I had decided to opt for a different approach, which I presented to you here and concentrated on those who were not/ no longer at The École.
Newly Enrolled Student Survey
As you know, we subsequently welcomed 90 new students to our school (and an additional two this week–Valentin and Marine–who were warmly welcomed by their classmates). A few weeks ago, we reached out to the families of those 90 new students, asking them for their opinions and their first impressions. I would like to thank them for having taken the time to reply to our questions because it is important for us to get feedback about our areas of strength and room for improvement, especially from the standpoint of parents whose children are taking their first steps at The École–the questionnaire was shared with existing families who had enrolled another child with us in September and also with families for whom our school was entirely new.
Reading through the results, the first impression is generally very positive; families feel that they made the right choice. Their answers show appreciation for our teachers, our unique bilingual program, and our genuine linguistic diversity. The balance of the children’s French and English days, the variety in the teaching, and the ability for parents to follow what happens in class are listed as strong points (even though in terms of the latter, disparities between the classes were indicated). We can conclude that on a strictly academic front, the satisfaction rate is very high. I hope that impression has been further strengthened this week during the parent-teacher conferences.
The answers to questions regarding administrative aspects, however, show a different side to the story. Among the issues raised were our tendency not to provide enough notice about strategically important events: the lead-up to the first day of school, information about the schedule of and registration for the After-School program, parent-teacher conferences, etc. The message has been received loud and clear and we hope that the Monday Memo, and the fact that it contains information about events three weeks in advance, has been a helpful first step in the right direction. We are also going to work on our calendar to better respond to your needs. I hope that you will begin to see visible signs of concrete improvement during this school year and that back-to-school 2022 will go more smoothly.
Another area for improvement that was frequently cited is the multitude of contact people at The École and how difficult it is to know who to address. To be frank with you, I was not really surprised by those answers. It is fairly typical at a school of our size for everyone to multitask–especially with a staff as devoted as ours. That said, we have taken note and are currently working on a streamlined, simplified document that we hope will enable you to navigate The École’s often confusing organigram and help you get the answers you need quickly.
In the not-too-distant future, we will share another questionnaire, this time addressed to all families and all staff members, so everyone will have the opportunity to let their voice be heard. First though, we needed to get feedback from the new arrivals. and from their answers, we can safely say that despite the constant flux, The École has remained true to itself!