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Participants in school district survey identify need for smaller class sizes, facility improvements and more

Molalla River School District recently asked the school community how it's doing and then compiled a report that shows how people responded.

The district posed the question, "How are we doing, and where do we need to improve?" in an online ThoughtExchange as part of the district's process of applying for funding from the recently passed Student Success Act, which will provide an unprecedented $1 billion per year to schools for education reform.

"We welcome affirmations and criticism, and this offers a transparent way to do it," said Superintendent Tony Mann of the online survey.

The results show 292 people responded with 210 comments, and those comments received 5,472 ratings from participants.

According to Mann, the results are "designed to identify areas of shared vision around community priorities," he said in a letter to district families.

Based on how participants rated the comments, the district identified five themes that the participants value. Those are: class size and staffing levels, whole child wellbeing, student academic achievement, facility improvements and community/communication.

COURTESY PHOTO: MRSD - Pictured is a chart showing the top five themes that arose from survey responses.

"We need to improve class sizes," the top-rated comment says. "Some high school classes are in the high 30s and 40s. By improving class sizes, we can provide instruction that focuses on individual students. Once classes get more than 30, it makes it difficult."

Another highly rated comment suggests the need for a new middle school, calling the current one "not healthy" and "overcrowded."

District leaders will use this feedback and other community input gathered at face-to-face meetings to draft the application for Student Success Act funds, the first portion of which is due Dec. 6.

View the results of the ThoughtExchange survey here.

Kristen Wohlers
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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