Northmont school district addresses wording on parent survey

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Northmont school district addresses survey wording

CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some elementary school parents in the Northmont school district are concerned about the wording of a survey question. The superintendent acknowledges it’s a poor choice of words, but says the program is helping students. 

Northmont has been part of the Equity Fellows program for more than two years. The district is taking responsibility for the survey question, but says the mistake was made while trying to make the district better. 

Superintendent Tony Thomas says, “We believe that the wording in the survey could have been worded better, and we take full responsibility for that.” The recent survey mailed to Northwood Elementary School homes asked: “What do you wish white teachers at Northwood knew about teaching your black child?” 

Thomas says, “The incident at hand is working to perform with a contracted vendor and is meant to better understand any obstacles that our students are having in school.” 

The survey is part of the Equity Fellows program. Participating school districts work to strengthen relationship-building and improve learning for student populations that typically underperform on state tests. Northmont is the only suburban district in the program. Superintendent Thomas says this specific question was written with input from several coaches. “We want to make sure that any mistakes we made, that people understand the idea is to get better. We want to close those gaps.” 

Thomas says response to the overall program has been positive so far. He adds that in addition to surveys, several parent focus groups have also been held, and more are scheduled in the future. “We are all in on trying to make sure that all learners are closing gaps and there are no obstacles to learn in Northmont.” 

Thomas says grant money covers the cost for most school districts in equity fellows, but Northmont is paying its own way to be part of the program. 

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