Abbotsford School District Unveils Results From Public Consultation

Submitted. The results of a major public consultation by Abbotsford School District with parents, employees and community leaders has been unveiled. Last summer, the school district asked parents, employees and community leaders to share their thoughts about what they felt the district was doing well, where it could improve, and what skills students need for a successful future. Over 2,600 people provided ideas and thoughts to help the district get a sense of shared values and priorities within schools and across the district.

From June to October, 2013, Abbotsford School District parents/guardians, and staff, along with community members were invited to respond to three questions:

What are some examples of things in our schools you feel are working well and are supporting learning at this time?
What are some creative examples of things that could be done differently and would improve how we are supporting learning in our schools?
What are some examples of the key skills/capabilities our young people need to attain in schools to develop into responsible and productive adults in our rapidly changing world?

Participants highlighted a number of positive features of the school district, and chief among them were: quality of teachers and staff; good communication between school and home; a focus on reading; and access to computers and technology.

The top skills that participants felt young people needed for successful futures were:

Communication skills
Accountability and personal responsibility
Problem-solving skills
Academic basics

“We have been carefully reviewing the feedback, and have a better understanding of how we can continue to enhance the educational experience we provide for students,” says Board of Education Chair Cindy Schafer. “This feedback is vital to the ongoing work of our Board’s Strategic Plan. It is reaffirming to have many of the ideas provided align with the six major themes of our current strategic plan. The results from this district-wide consultation – the largest we’ve ever undertaken – helps to show us where we need to direct our efforts and resources to provide a more responsive educational experience for students, as well as engage parents and the broader community. On behalf of our Board and senior management, I want to thank all those who took the time to participate in this consultation.”

A public website has been created especially for the Abbotsford School District’s results. It provides themes found across the district and corresponding comments, as well as individual results for each of the district’s 46 schools. Access is provided via the school district website.

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