Staff give VBCPS high marks in annual employee survey

88 percent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) employees agree they are proud to work in division, while an almost equal 87 percent report that the division holds high expectations for all staff. Those were two of a multitude of high marks given by 5,114 VBCPS employees, or half of all staff, who responded to the division’s 2018 Employee Input Survey.

“Our employees give a lot of themselves – their time, their talents, their passion – to make sure every one of our students has the best educational experience possible when they are in our schools,” said VBCPS Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence. “Similarly, as a division, we want to make sure our employees are treated equitably, are respected and know that they everyone is an important contributor in moving the division forward. It’s gratifying to receive these results and affirm that employees feel valued.”

The biannual survey asks employees about working conditions related to four areas: resources and information; working relationships with other staff members in their departments and across the division; professional development; opportunities within the school division and satisfaction with benefits.

Results in this year’s survey were overall very positive with the following statements garnering the highest marks:

  • 83 percent of staff agreed that they have quality resources needed to do their job well;
  • 83 percent of respondents indicate that individual differences such as gender, race and educational background are respected;
  • 86 percent agreed that they are encouraged to work as part of a team;
  • 87 percent of staff agreed that the school division has high expectations for all staff;
  • 85 percent stated that they are proud to work in their school or department; and
  • 88 percent of staff state that they are proud to work in VBCPS.

Salary and compensation had the lowest satisfaction at 32 percent; although, employee agreement level in this area has increased by eight percentage points since 2013-2014. This is a reflection of national data on the subject. For example, according to the recent PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, two-thirds of Americans say teacher pay in their community is too low.

Feedback shared through the biannual survey is one of many ways the division gathers input to see what services need be addressed. Five themes emerged from this year’s survey and the division is already taken actionable steps in those areas:

  • Compensation and Healthcare – Some of the items the division is working on include providing budgetary adjustments to address compensation and health care costs based on available funding; increasing educational allowances to become competitive with surrounding divisions; and establishing a committee to review the division’s additional duty supplement program.
  • Technology – The WiFi network has been upgraded and school-based network equipment is in the process of being replaced.
  • Curriculum and Support – Single sign-on was added to Clever and Schoology to simplify access to digital resources. In addition, curriculum can now be accessed through Schoology, making it easier for teachers to locate resources.
  • Professional Development – In this area, more learning opportunities for office professionals will be added; a professional learning series for teacher assistants will be ongoing; more teachers specializations will be offered.
  • Culture and Communication – Beginning this year, inclement weather time will only be made up if instructional days are added; the division will continue to celebrate teachers through its Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign as well as supporting positive workplace culture by focusing on joy and mindfulness.

 

Click here to view the full Sept. 11 workshop presentation to the School Board.

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