Log in

DVUSD dinged on lack of effective communication

Posted 6/7/17

By Cecilia Chan

Independent Newsmedia

Fewer parents and community members think Deer Valley Unified School District uses money effectively, that the Governing Board is in tune with the …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

DVUSD dinged on lack of effective communication


By Cecilia Chan
Independent Newsmedia

Fewer parents and community members think Deer Valley Unified School District uses money effectively, that the Governing Board is in tune with the community’s needs and the district office communicates effectively with them, according to district survey results.

The Governing Board last week reviewed the feedback, which will be used to improve the district, the sixth largest in the state. The two annual surveys of employees and community/parents were administered earlier this year.

Overall, employees and parents’ satisfaction with the district and its campuses for the most part saw a slight improvement compared with last year, according to Dr. Scott Smith, who gave the presentation. Dr. Smith is the district director of Data Analysis and Accountability.

“We have failed, failed to communicate with our community and the reality of what we do up here,” President Kim Fisher said. “I hope we look at how to rectify that situation. We all need to do a better job of communicating with our community.”

She said there is a public lack of understanding of the board’s role. For example, she said, people comment about the board members getting paid for their service.

“Our paycheck is zero,” she said. “They need to know and understand that we are here to serve them and serve their kids.”

Darcy Tweedy

Board member Darcy Tweedy requested a study session so the board can look at how to do a better job of communicating with the public.

President Fisher also pushed staff to release the surveys’ raw data.

She said the board two years ago asked for the raw data and still has not gotten it for this year’s results. Without the raw data, the information is not meaningful, she added.

Dr. Scott said he assured employees of their anonymity and he asked for only two identifying factors — what school they worked at and if they were certified, classified or administration.

He said releasing more information would affect his credibility with survey takers.

“I try to keep it as anonymous as possible,” he said. “I am asking if it is the board’s wish I turn over all the raw data, I want it said publicly.”

Ms. Fisher said if he would release a respondent’s campus and not position, that should ensure anonymity.

DVUSD board member Kimberly Fisher speaks during a DVUSD board meeting July 12, 2016 at Deer Valley Unified School District Office in Glendale.

“We need a building, is this building happy, is this building OK?” she said.

He said that was possible, given there are more than 10 respondents from each location.

Employees, which included administrators, teachers and classified staff, gave feedback on areas such as the district’s mission, vision and core values, district office leadership, work environment, campus leadership and department leadership. This year, 2,369 employees responded to the survey, up from 2,355 in 2016.

For work environment, questions asked for satisfaction levels in getting support for training, feeling safe on campus and being value by a principal or supervisor.

They all increased from the prior year except for knowing how the district is doing financially, which saw a 4 percent drop.

For department leadership, the question on how well roles and expectations are clearly defined saw a 1 percent drop, according to results.

In the community/parent survey, the results have gone up every year since 2014, Dr. Smith noted, adding the number of parents who gave their child’s school an “A” grade saw a dramatic increase.

In 2014, just 38 percent of the survey responders gave their child’s school an “A.” Now it is 53 percent.

For questions regarding specific campuses, all the numbers except for two increased. The two that saw a drop was the child felt safe in the school and early release for teachers professional development improved classroomlearning. And the likelihood a parent or community member would recommend the district saw a drop for all grades, except for K-8 campuses.