Culture and Climate Surveys

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Jenny Malave, Project Manager
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HPS uses the Panorama Culture and Climate survey tool to gather feedback from our students, staff, and families.

Survey results for the Fall 2023 Panorama Culture and Climate are now available.

Thank you to everyone who completed the Fall 2023 Panorama Culture and Climate Survey. We administer this survey each year so we can measure how our stakeholders are feeling about our district’s culture and climate and to gather crucial insights that will guide our efforts in continuing to improve our schools and our district as a whole. 

We encourage you to visit the Panorama website to review the data for yourself so you can form your own conclusions. Choose the Holyoke icon to view district results and the Schools icon to view individual school results. As you review the data, please keep in mind that a “favorable” response captures the top two out of five categories. A “somewhat” response—which is the middle category—does not count towards a “favorable” response. 

Additionally, there were several changes this year that make it more challenging to compare current survey results with results from prior years—including the district’s rezoning, the time of year when the survey was released, and a change in how Panorama phrased and organized some of the questions—but there is still a lot we learned from this year’s survey.

From this year’s data, we can see the following bright spots:

  • The move to distinct elementary elementary schools is contributing to students and families feeling connected and safe to school. 

  • The large majority of students and families are motivated for children to do well in school.

  • Teachers are creating culturally responsive classroom environments.

  • Teachers and families communicate regularly about students’ progress.

(See below for the data that supports these bright spots.)

We also see areas for improvement, especially:

  • We need to more effectively support students’ social-emotional needs so they can better engage in learning and be respectful to teachers and peers. 

  • We need to create a more positive work environment for teachers and staff so they can be their best selves when supporting students. This includes creating a culture of more respectful student-to-teacher and student-to-student relationships and customized professional learning. 

  • We need to examine the resources that schools need, particularly around technology and culturally responsive books and materials. We’ve made investments in these areas in the past, so we need to identify what more is needed or why investments aren’t having the intended impact.

(See below for the data that supports the areas for improvement.)

After reflecting on the survey results, we are committing or recommitting to the following efforts to strengthen the experience of our students, teachers, staff, and families:

  • Continue to build supportive school communities and strengthen school cultures so that every child can learn and all staff can teach and work in a safe, supportive, and productive environment.

  • Develop a teacher retention strategy. This work is in progress, and we expect to release a report by March. 

  • Ensure the school and district budgeting process determines the resource needs—particularly in the areas of materials, supplies, and technology—for students, teachers, and staff. 

  • Ensure that each school reviews and responds to their school-specific data in order to strengthen the culture and climate at their school. 

Thank you for your continued engagement. Please know that surveys are just one way we collect feedback. You may reach out to us with questions and suggestions throughout the year.

Data to support Bright Spots

  • 61% of students in grades 3-5 responded favorably to “How connected do you feel to the adults at your school?” (6-point increase from SY22-23)

  • An increase in feelings of safety in school in grades 3-5, including 70% of students feeling safe in their classroom (4-point increase) and 55% feeling safe in the hallways, lunchroom, and bathrooms (4-point increase). And 84% of families who responded do not have concerns with safety in school. 

  • 84% of grades 3-5 students and 79% of grades 6-12 responded favorably to “How important is it to you to do well in your classes?”

  • 86% of families responded favorably to “How often do you have conversations with your child about what his/her class is learning at school?”

  • 68% of grades 3-5 students and 69% of grades 6-12 students responded favorably to “Are your culture and native language respected at school?” 

  • 87% of teachers responded favorably to “How easy do you find interacting with students who are from a different cultural background than your own?” 

  • 83% of teachers responded favorably to “How comfortable are you incorporating new materials about people from different backgrounds into your curriculum?”

  • 83% of teachers responded favorably to “How often do you communicate with the families of your students?”

  • 75% of families indicated that they communicate with their child’s teacher at least every few months, with 55% of families indicating that they communicate monthly or more.

Data to support Areas for Improvement

  • 62% of grades 6-12 students indicated that the behavior of other students hurt their learning sometimes, frequently, or almost always.

  • 78% of grades 3-5 students and 83% of grades 6-12 students indicated that people at this school are disrespectful to others sometimes, frequently, or almost always.

  • 50% of families responded favorably to “How confident are you that your child’s school is supporting them socially and emotionally?

  • 45% of teachers responded favorably to, “How respectful are the relationships between teachers and students?” (10-point decrease)

  • 39% of teachers and 56% of staff responded favorably to “Overall, How positive is your working environment?”

  • 30% of teachers and 39% of staff responded favorably to “How relevant have the professional development opportunities been to your work?”

  • 66% of teachers and 77% of staff indicated that technology in their building needs to be updated somewhat, quite, or extremely urgently

  • 21% of grades 3-5 students and 28% of grades 6-12 students responded favorably to, “Do books and materials at your school have people in them who look like you?”