Student and Family Voice
Over the past year, the district has used several methods to gather student and family voices. including online surveys, ThoughtExchange, outreach through and with community partners, empathy interviews, focus groups, work groups, interviews and community forums.
Through online surveys and several ThoughtExchange processes, provided in multiple languages, thoughts were gathered about several topics including distance learning, health and safety concerns, plans to return to school, student engagement in distance learning, and student well-being. Students had the opportunity to share their thoughts through high school student forums twice this year in addition to electronic feedback tools. The district held multiple family webinars in English and Spanish with opportunities to share thoughts and ask questions. Many other opportunities for feedback came up with research to support distance learning options for the 2021-22 school year.
District leadership met with approximately 40 Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community leaders representing over 100 students to gather their feedback about distance learning in August 2020 and interviewed students directly about their experiences with distance learning in November. Mukilteo School District is a close partner with Connect Casino Road Collaborative (CCR). CCR serves 31 immigrant families (83 school age children) who reside in the Casino Road community and attend school in Mukilteo School District. We also administered an optional student well-being survey by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to middle and high school students in March 2021. The survey was offered statewide and the student responses from Mukilteo School District will be received from OSPI in early June.
What we heard
- BIPOC community leaders shared their community members were most concerned about technology, communications and well-being.
- Connect Casino Road reported 100 percent of their families are experiencing stress and anxiety.
- Before the pandemic, over 50 percent of students reported that school did not let their family know when they had done something well in the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey. The results also reflected that over 50 percent of survey respondents reported their teacher did not praise them when they worked hard.
- Students and families have told us they want to know about their progress and are concerned about lost learning opportunities; they want to be back in school but have a remote option; and they want mental health supports more available.
Additionally, we found an increase of participation in Individualized Education Plan team meetings with families using Zoom to meet, and we hope to continue the partnership with families through this process that is more accessible and convenient, in whichever modality works best for the family, either in-person or remote.
Overall, we heard that students and families want more options, more opportunities for engaging and feedback on student progress and more consistent communication between schools and families.
Engaging student and family voices in the planning for recovery and acceleration
Schools have also engaged students and families about acceleration and recovery, expanded learning, and transition supports for the new year. These efforts have included schoolwide surveys and targeted family interviews to maximize outreach to all families, and ensure we capture the voices of families that have been traditionally marginalized. Here are some of the ways we have included student and family voices and ensured there was a school advocate for their interests:
- Student and family representatives in the SEL and Mental Health Work Group and subgroups
- Student led and represented in the Work2BeWell mental health program
- Student inspired and represented in the development of the HealthyU program
- Key Communicators - Group of family liaisons and two family representatives from each school who meet monthly
- Distance learning for the future - family and student focus groups with over 80 participants
- BIPOC Community Leaders group
- Title I and Title III Special Programs committee meetings
- Parent liaisons and Natural Leaders - input from their meetings
- Student Directors on the school board
- Associated Student Body representatives
Structures and resources to respond to family and student needs
- Title I and Title III parent activities
- Parent liaisons, student support advocates, elementary support specialists
- School counselors, college and career readiness staff, High School and Beyond Plan coordination
- Washington Alliance for Better Schools and Natural Leaders
- District and school website information for mental health resources through the HealthyU programs
- Family Academy and technology learning videos
- Anchored SEL staff and family trainings
- Work2BeWell partnership with Providence
- Translation and interpretation services