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RIDE Launches Statewide SurveyWorks Initiative

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) today launched the 2020 administration of SurveyWorks, a statewide school culture and climate survey that collects critical feedback from students, families, and educators. Last year, nearly 126,000 stakeholders participated in the survey, sharing their perspectives about what is working and what needs to be improved in Rhode Island public schools.  


SurveyWorks touches upon a range of important topics, including school safety, the quality of professional learning for teachers, respect between students and teachers, and how inclusive and welcoming school environments are for parents and families that want to be engaged.  


“Effective student and family engagement isn’t something that can be accomplished in one day. It’s a value that you must embody and work for every single day if you truly want to understand and be responsive to your school community,” said Angélica Infante-Green, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The most supportive, successful schools are ones where leaders listen to their students and families and learn from their perspectives. SurveyWorks allows us to do that statewide, and the results help inform policy and programming at the state, district, and school levels.” 


The survey window is open from January 13 through March 31. Surveys are completely anonymous, and are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 


RIDE is particularly focused on increasing family participation on SurveyWorks, which was approximately 20 percent in 2019. Families will receive communication from their child’s school directly that includes the survey access code. To complete the survey, families visit https://surveys.panoramaed.com/ride/login and put in the specific school code.  


“It is important for parents and families to have a voice that is heard in shaping the communication of curriculum and the culture of our children’s public schools,” said Nicholas Oliver, a parent of children in the East Providence Public Schools and Executive Director of the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care. “SurveyWorks provides an opportunity to provide both praise and document concerns about our children’s schools and engage our school officials in a community approach to improve quality education and atmospheres that are conducive for learning. This is also an excellent opportunity for parents of children with medical and behavioral disabilities to elevate feedback to address barriers for equitable education opportunities.” 


“Student voice is essential to a properly functioning school environment,” said Lauren Griffiths, a student at Portsmouth High School and the Chair of the Rhode Island Student Advisory Council. “As students, SurveyWorks allows us to use our voices to push forward genuine change in the areas we identify as needing improvement. This empowers us to be the driving force behind establishing a positive school culture where we feel comfortable, supported, and engaged. 


SurveyWorks data is embedded into the state’s Report Card platform, reinforcing it as a key measure of school performance that families should look at to better understand the strengths and challenges of their school. At the district level, the results can help inform programmatic decisions that support robust student, family, and educator engagement. 


“To be able to know and understand students, the schools that they attend, and the communities of those schools, requires much more than scores on standardized assessments. Positive school climate and culture has a measurable impact on student performance and outcomes, and SurveyWorks helps all of us better understand how we can strengthen the learning environments we create for our kids," said Tom DiPaola, executive director of the Rhode Island School Superintendents Association (RISSA).  


To learn more, view last year’s results, or access resources to help promote the survey, visit SurveyWorks.ride.ri.gov. Join the conversation and encourage your school community to participate using the hashtag, #SurveyWorks.