In May 2020, a Wellesley Public School Facebook Group called the WPS Parents Coalition distributed a survey to their members (which includes over 1,300 Wellesley Parents)
The survey received 337 unique responses. (Not every respondent answered every question.) This survey was parent driven and was not conducted by the the school, in fact their has been no formal survey presented by the district asking the opinion of parents in over 5 years.
A broad cross section of parents responded— with children across the spectrum of grades and schools and time lived in Wellesley. The results are not great for Wellesley Public Schools
Only slightly more than half of respondents are satisfied with WPS overall at 52.5%, and almost 40% (37.7%) are dissatisfied.
When asked how satisfied they are with components of their children’s educational experience, parents are more satisfied with overall curriculum, fluency in fundamental subjects, the responsiveness of teachers to individual needs, student access to teachers, and mental health services. Parents are split over the level of academic rigor as it affects their children (about 40% of parents feel it is lacking).
Parents are dissatisfied with the Standards Based Grading system, educational materials that are non-academic in focus, and the comprehensiveness of the curriculum without need for private supplementation.
When asked how satisfied they are with components as they relate to their experience as a parent, respondents are generally satisfied with overall academic rigor, grading policies, responsiveness of staff/educators to parents, and ability to advocate for their children (though 118 parents said they were dissatisfied with their ability to advocate for their children, about 1/3 of all respondents).
Parents are generally dissatisfied with the responsiveness of the administration, the transparency regarding curriculum, and transparency of information that influences administrative decision making.
When asked about the level of satisfaction with the performance of the School Committee, parents are dissatisfied with every component: communication, transparency, open dialogue at meetings, length of citizen speak, ability to objectively manage the Superintendent, and understanding parent concerns.
When asked about the level of satisfaction with the performance of the current Superintendent, parents overwhelmingly are dissatisfied. (198 to 85).
When asked to rate level of satisfaction with the current Superintendent, parents are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with transparency (166-96), timely attention to parental concerns (169-97), overall ranking of WPS to other MA school districts (191-78), leadership on critical issues (covid, huh, mcas) (171-101), and management of expectations and interests of competing stakeholders (169-77).
Parents are slightly more satisfied with communication (138-133).
Just over 30% of respondents said that the school decisions affected their child(ren)’s enrollment in the current school year.
Almost 39% of those families are not returning next year.
Roughly half of all 337 respondents inquired about leaving the WPS system for next year due to administration decisions regarding covid policies.
Of the 337 respondents, 13.6 % indicate at least one of their children are leaving the WPS next year.