For the past three years, we have conducted a short on-line survey with our parents regarding technology in our district. Here’s a quick summary of the results…
Download a copy of the survey and the full results (including all comments)
Sample comments regarding things that are going well…
* I like the new late assignments alert.
* Love getting the emails. That’s the most help for me as a parent. The emails with missing assignments is really a help. Thank you for sending those.
* I really like Infinite Campus being able to check grades and lunch accounts (what food is purchased). Daily school messages are helpful — I especially like how VSW puts a BOLD heading for each announcement as it makes it easy to find the areas that apply to my child only.
* I was thrilled to find out my son’s kindergarten class was receiving 3 ipads! I would love to see them using them more in the classroom. I also love the idea of using the laptops in the classrooms!
* The iPads are fabulous. Would be nice to see more of that.
* I like that flyers are electronic now. It prevents issues with them getting lost.
* I HIGHLY enjoy the ability to schedule PT conferences online! That has been a blessing!
* I have been impressed with the ability for me to interact with my child and teacher while deployed with the Army. I was able to conduct 2 parent teacher conferences and talk to the class via video while deployed in Afghanistan. This is extremely important to our family since I am gone for several months throughout the year.
Sample comments regarding suggestions for improvement…
* Use of technology is inconsistent between grade levels. Some teachers are really involved in technology and others are not. That is understandable but the discrepancy is pretty big.
* I believe that for the most part Valley is using technology well, I am disappointed with the continued notification of my children being absent from a class, when in fact I have called the school or they have had a note, this is often teachers not being aware or maybe the office not making the teachers aware and all is does is make for more confusion. Also they have been counted absent with they are at a school sponsored event, again, lack of communication.
* The weekly emails have some repeated content and the line spacing is bad, most of the time it all runs together. I would suggest different formatting
* send text message instead of phone calls.
* Often I get an automated message from a teacher – but they do not tell me who they are or what subject they are teaching. With multiple kids in school it’s not easy to know which Math or Science or whatever teacher this is – and to which kid it pertains.
* I have a daughter at VSW and Fairmeadows. DAILY, I receive a minimum of 3-5 emails from West Des Moines Schools. It’s TOO much! I have stopped reading them and end up missing important info.
* I would like to see due dates of all assignments on Infinite campus so I can monitor my child’s work and progress. Too often we receive a late/missing assignment notice when it is too late!
* I would also like to again request that the Campus Portal say Infinite Campus on the district page. Why are two terms used for the same thing?
* We are always called/emailed when our son at Valley HS has an excused absence and has provided a note to the office. Why are notes even asked for if they are ignored EVERY time and we have to contact the office after the fact anyway? This is a terrible problem with the office and is extremely inconvenient for the parents.
* more use of iPads and laptops in education
* You need to rework the daily email messages. On most days, I receive 3-8 messages from the schools, and most of the content is repeated from the prior days’ messages. Valley Vibes is especially bad at repeating the same content for days if not weeks.
* I cannot tell you how many different times I fill out the same basic contact information for each child each school year.
* Stop using the virtual backpack…I really think the elimination of paper handouts for community are really damaging the numbers of community programs such basketball, softball, baseball.