The mission of the Howard County Public School System is to cultivate a vibrant learning community that prepares students to thrive in a dynamic world. Achieving this mission requires that HCPSS is aware of the perceptions of employees and students, and that each employee and student see HCPSS as a great place to work and learn. HCPSS launched a partnership with Gallup in 2013 to measure employee and student perceptions and uses this information to make further progress toward achieving the HCPSS mission.
Gallup Employee Survey
Based on more than four decades of research, Gallup has identified definitive employee attitudes that correspond with the most successful workplaces. Employee engagement – involvement with and enthusiasm for work – is measured by Gallup in a 12-question employee survey. An employee’s level of engagement links to various school outcomes, including employee retention, parent engagement, student retention, and student achievement.
The Gallup employee engagement survey, which includes 12 questions, was administered in October 2014 and 6,712 HCPSS employees (84%) responded, compared to 6,620 HCPSS employees (84%) in 2013. The staff engagement results indicate that 40% of our staff is engaged which was greater than the national average (30%) and 6% greater than our 2013 results (34%).
Gallup Student Survey
The Gallup Student Poll is a 20-question survey that measures the hope, engagement, and well-being of students in grades 5–12. Research supports the idea that hope (ideas and energy for the future), engagement (involvement with and enthusiasm for school), and well-being (how we think about and experience our lives) are actionable targets linked to student achievement, retention, and future employment.
The Student Poll was conducted online during the school day from September 30 through October 31, 2014, and 30,905 HCPSS students in grades 5-12 participated, compared to 29,600 students in 2013. Results indicate that 55% of student respondents are hopeful, compared to 55% in 2013. This means that their ideas and energy for the future drive effort, academic achievement, credits earned, and retention. The grand mean for results in the area of hope was 4.40, compared to 4.40 in 2013, which is slightly above the 2014 grand mean of 4.39 for the U.S. overall.
Both of these surveys have yielded a wealth of data designed to inform HCPSS improvement efforts. Gallup has provided presentations for executive staff, principals, and central office managers. Gallup coaches and principals have had one-on-one conversations. Ongoing dialogue will continue with teams of employees across HCPSS as we continue to leverage insights from these data to drive success.
The results provide a comprehensive view of school-level data collected from the employee and student surveys and are at the foundation of many important discussions and actions being taken throughout HCPSS.