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Panorama Survey aims to enhance high school learning environment

Bexley High School students took the Panorama Survey in late October during their study hall periods to measure student perceptions of the school environment.

Assistant Principal Craig McMillen said that the questionnaire also focuses on students’ levels of grit, perseverance and ability to learn in the classroom. McMillen said he feels very passionate about the survey, and he believes that it will be useful for improving the school.

“If we are going to be collecting information from students, then we should do something with it,” McMillen said. “The data collected from this survey will help inform programming and help us understand where students are.”

McMillen said the data collected over the past two years from the Panorama Survey was useful in the “weird education times” that came as a result of the pandemic.

Principal Kristin Robbins said the school was motivated by two driving questions when administering this survey: what do students want the administration to know, and what do they want them to do?

McMillen said there were other motivating factors for administering the survey.

“Part of this process too is for students to be able to identify areas of strength for themselves,” he said.

McMillen and Robbins both said that this survey will be used by the faculty, as well as the district’s Response to Intervention specialists.

McMillen said that while students could identify strengths, they could also identify areas of weakness on this survey.

“Whose names have been brought to RTI? Whose names have been popping up in the counselor’s office? The survey is a way to identify how to help the students who have been identified as needing more support or different support,” McMillen said.

Robbins said that the Panorama Survey taken last year showed the freshman class felt disconnected from the rest of the high school, so the survey data was used to help guide the school in creating freshman orientation to help the incoming class feel more comfortable.

Freshman Maddie Merzel said that she found the freshman orientation helpful.

“It was nice to get answers from students because they’re more relatable than teachers sometimes,” Merzel said.

Merzel suggested that Student Council can use the data from the survey to form programs to make the school feel more inclusive for everyone.

Robbins said the administration took the data to the staff and taught them how to read and understand the survey results.

In December of 2020, she said the school held a pancake breakfast where each teacher selected one student to have breakfast with and talk to. She added that she saw a change in engagement level with those students.

She said she feels it’s important for students to have a trusted adult in the building to talk to.

“When challenging things happen—pandemic, racial inequality, gender issues—we want that baseline developed, so it’s not, ‘we don’t know where to go from here,’” Robbins said.

Robbins said the main goal of the Panorama Survey is to create a more positive learning environment.

“The information we already have about kids’ scholastic success paired with the honest information kids gave us in the surveys will only provide for a better, more positive learning environment,” Robbins said.

Nikolas Robinson
Nikolas Robinson is a senior at Bexley and is a news editor on The Torch. Outside of school, Nikolas plays soccer and is a part of the stage crew.