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Research and Program Evaluation

The Office of Research and Program Evaluation provides information and analysis to support continuous improvement in the academic and operational services at Harford County Public Schools (HCPS).

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Other duties and responsibilities of the office include but not limited to:
  • Planning and implementing educational evaluation and research studies
  • Conducting research, program evaluation, and analysis of issues including preparation of reports, white papers, and journal publication recommendations
  • Working with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive strategic evaluation plan and the outcomes and indicators to be used to monitor progress toward North Star's goals
  • Performing quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, using data analytics to determine and share insight that can be used to enhance learning and student achievement, and operational processes
  • Developing and preparing internal reports of status, progress, and outcomes of evaluation activities
  • Providing clear and useful reports for decision makers, staff, and other stakeholders as needed to implement and improve North Star
  • Supporting grant/budget development teams to ensure program accomplishments and impact are represented within each proposal
  • Managing internal data record-keeping and refinement
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Research Reports


INTRODUCTION
OVERVIEW

The Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Division of Student Support Services (SSS) is prioritizing the well-being and wellness of its students. In the 2023-2024 school year, SSS administered a Wellness Needs Assessment to all students in grades 3-12. The HCPS Department of Research and Program Evaluation developed a Data Dashboard accessible to school counselors, administrators, and central office leaders in real-time, to monitor live results as students completed the needs assessment.

School and district administrators can utilize the data presented in the dashboard to formulate interventions that address the specific and presenting needs identified among students. These results can serve as valuable insights to guide school and district planning initiatives, aiding in the prioritization of support for students, families, and teachers.

The HCPS Wellness Needs Assessment aimed to gain a better understanding of the well-being and wellness (physical and mental wellness) of each student. Through this understanding, HCPS seeks to enhance students’ overall school experience.

To support this priority, the HCPS Department of Research and Program Evaluation has collaborated with the HCPS Division of Student Support Services and Hanover Research to complete an analysis of the student responses of the 2023 – 2024 Wellness Needs Assessment. This analysis will be presented as a written narrative report and will include key findings and recommendations, as well as provide a district-level breakdown of results by overall constructs - social/emotional, learning skills and habits, elementary climate and culture, secondary climate, culture, support, and mental health, physical health and activity, personal care, and Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) questions.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Through an analysis of closed-ended responses, this report addresses the following research questions:
  1. What are areas of strength and areas for continued growth, as it relates to the following constructs:
    • Social/Emotional Wellbeing
    • Learning Skills and Habits
    • Elementary Climate and Culture
    • Secondary Climate, Culture, Support, and Mental Health
    • Physical Health and Activity
    • Personal Care
    • Healthy Outcomes From Positive Experiences (HOPE)
  2. What actionable recommendations can be made to address the area for continued growth?
INTRODUCTION

Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), as a part of its ongoing effort to include parent, teacher, and community feedback to inform its decisions, has developed and launched a survey to seek input and guidance in establishing its school calendar for the 2024-2025 school year.

The HCPS Department of Research and Program Evaluation created a Data Dashboard to analyze the responses to the survey’s closed-ended questions and partnered with an external research group, Hanover Research, to analyze the responses to the survey’s open-ended question at specific intervals throughout its administration. These comments sought notes or feedback regarding perceptions of the potential calendar options. To address the district’s needs, a qualitative analysis was performed on a randomized sample of the open-ended responses and provided a set of key findings. The generated key findings can assist district leaders and the Board of Education (BOE) in making informed decisions regarding the development of the 2024-2025 school year calendar.

This report primarily centers on the examination of open-ended questions or comments provided by survey respondents. To access the analysis of closed-ended questions from the survey, you may open the Data Dashboard.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This report provides a digestible summary of responses to the survey’s open-ended question. Each survey respondent was asked the following open-ended prompt:

  • If you have additional notes or feedback, please utilize this space. Your comments may be shared publicly. Please refrain from personal attacks or inappropriate language.

The purpose of this needs assessment is to help school and district leaders develop interventions that support the specific and presenting needs of students and to effectively allocate mental health resources to schools based on their data.

The Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) division of Student Support Services is committed to addressing the wellness of its students and has collaborated with the Department of Research and Program Evaluation to conduct a Wellness Needs Assessment for Grades 1-12 during fall 2022-2023.

The 2022-2023 Wellness Needs Assessment received a total of 26,839 responses, which represents a significant response rate of 78%. Included in those responses were 2,710 open-ended comments from students in Grades 6-12. The assessment results will aid in planning support for students, families, and instructional staff at the school and district levels. The Department of Research and Program Evaluation has provided real-time responses and analysis of the closed-ended responses through the 2022-2023 Wellness Needs Assessment Data Dashboard.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The analysis of open-ended responses addressed the following research questions:

  • Beyond the closed-ended options provided (e.g., stress, anger), what additional factors do students most often report having difficulty managing?
  • Beyond the closed-ended options provided (e.g., lack of stable/reliable housing, incarcerated family member), with what additional factors do students most often report wanting help?
  • What are the most frequently mentioned additional concerns and needs students name regarding their wellness?
  • In what ways do the findings for the first three research questions differ by school level (i.e., middle versus high school)?
KEY FINDINGS
  1. Students experience the most difficulties with managing their time and school-related responsibilities.
  2. Students highlight mental health as a priority across all three Wellness Needs Assessment questions.
  3. Students highlight student behavior and bullying as a concept that the Wellness Needs Assessment did not cover.
  4. A smaller, but still substantial, group of students indicate struggling with creating routines and regulating the emotions that affect their focus and motivation at school.
  5. Many students used the open-ended response option (“Other”) to explicitly share their lack of wellness needs.
RECOMMENDATIONS
  1. Integrate response themes into next year's Wellness Needs Assessments.
  2. Share this report with HCPS Department of Student Support Services staff to encourage discussions about the results.
  3. Create a work group to identify patterns correlating with operational data monitored by HCPS, such as violence and discipline, and conduct a quantitative examination.
CONCLUSION AND NEXT STEPS

During the summer of 2021, a multidisciplinary workgroup developed this Wellness Needs Assessment to better identify the mental wellness of our students across the system in grades 1-12. It was also intended to provide system leaders and school-based teams with data that could be used to best deploy the appropriate resources for students based on their responses. This needs assessment underwent a series of revisions for the 2022-23 school year and a Dashboard was created to better capture the data for district and school-based staff. As HCPS continues to make refinements, the Wellness Needs Assessment will undergo more changes for the 2023-24 school year. The most notable changes include the addition of questions that assess the physical wellness of students, the decision to only administer the needs assessment to grades 3-12, and more varied response options for several of the questions.

Given the capabilities of the new Dashboard, HCPS Department of Student Support Services staff as well as administration have full access to their schoolwide data and can run a myriad of reports by grade level, gender, concerning issues, etc. Only the school counselor in each school has the capability to see data that is student specific. Leaders at the district level are able to see similar reports for the entire system as well as data disaggregated by school. District leaders are not able to access student specific data. These reports may also be shared by district leaders with stakeholders across the county who work and are invested in the area of physical and mental wellness.

The next step in this process is to develop a report that details the best ways to access data on the Dashboard and best practices for how to use this data at the district and school levels. Professional development is being planned to share this with school-based student support services staff as well as building administrators. Once this is complete, this training will be made available for new staff who are hired into these positions so that they are well equipped to access the Dashboard and use the data to guide the wellness interventions and programs in their buildings.

Overview

This Data Dashboard, designed by the HCPS Department of Research and Program Evaluation in collaboration with the Department of Student Support Services, presents the results of the 2022-2023 HCPS Wellness Needs Assessment. The intuitive visualizations and reports in the data dashboard is enabling teachers, principals and staff to support the presenting needs of students and to inform strategic planning efforts such as prioritization of targeted support for students, families, and teachers.

Dashboard

The Office of Strategic Initiatives conducted interviews with several staff members and stakeholders and collected data on the innovations. The goal was to analyze which ideas and adaptations are most important to stakeholders and which innovations meet the Board of Education Strategic Plan Goals. The analysis will be used as a tool to highlight innovations that stakeholders found to be effective during COVID-19 recovery and may play an important role in meeting future strategic goals, including those outlined in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Results will be shared with staff and all stakeholders via the Continuity of Learning Plan, HCPS website, and any other venue where organizational change or strategic planning is being discussed.

This report details the results of that analysis.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

According to interview participants:

  1. What innovations, adaptations, and changes occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that had a positive impact on students, staff, and families?
  2. What HCPS Strategic Plan Goals do the identified innovations, adaptations, and changes relate to and support?
  3. How important do stakeholders feel these innovations are to their role and to supporting HCPS’s goals, and in what ways?
RECOMMENDATIONS
  1. Invest in the expansion, formalization, and further integration of technology initiatives in the district beyond the pandemic. Many staff members at all levels named innovations such as 1:1 technology, virtual meetings, remote learning, and remote work opportunities as particularly impactful and good candidates for sustainment beyond the pandemic. All four of those innovations were cited by multiple respondents as supportive and directly aligned to all four of HCPS’ strategic goals.
  2. Explore more permanent funding strategies to keep extra daily substitute teachers at school sites. Stakeholders appreciated the addition of extra substitutes teachers funded by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and believe the change supports all four of HCPS’ strategic goals—particularly in building staff capacity and healthy learning environments.
  3. Codify HCPS’ commitment to prioritizing student and staff health and wellbeing. Throughout COVID-19, stakeholders recognized the district’s increased prioritization and awareness of the importance of mental and physical health. Staff members believe that providing and maintaining resources for stakeholder wellbeing will further support the district’s progress towards its strategic goals.
  4. Continue to explore opportunities to increase planning time for teachers. Throughout COVID-19, teachers utilized their planning time to provide individualized support to students, to plan lessons and to provide outreach supports to families. Many teachers said that the dedicated time and space are good for their own wellbeing.
Introduction

Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is engaging its stakeholders (students, parents, staff, and community members) in meaningful dialogue about safety and security in all schools and offices.  As part of this evaluation, HCPS administered the HCPS Safety and Security Crisis Preparedness Survey and conducted a Threat Assessment Data Collection. The HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation worked with the Department of Safety and Security and others to analyze the results.

As defined in the HCPS Strategic Plan, Goal 4 for the Board of Education of Harford County is to "Provide safe, secure, and healthy learning environments conducive to effective teaching and learning, creativity, and innovation." In February and March 2022, the co-chairs of the HCPS Safety and Security Work Group, Dr. Stacey Gerringer and Mr. Donoven Brooks, hosted a series of focus groups/stakeholder meetings with internal and external partners to gather input for updating and improving HCPS safety and security procedures after the post-pandemic school reopening. Most of the focus group meetings were recorded for review and analysis. At the end of each meeting, a short survey was administered to collect participants' perceptions of the current state of safety and crisis preparedness in the district as well as suggestions for improvement. The purpose of the survey was to help formulate answers to the research questions listed below and to help establish clear recommendations to ensure HCPS will continue to provide safe and secure environments post COVID-19 lockdown.

The HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation partnered with internal and external researchers to analyze and synthesize the results of these efforts. HCPS will use the insights to update its safety and crisis preparedness policies and practices.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

Through an analysis of open-ended responses, this report addresses the following research questions:

  1. How do internal and external HCPS stakeholders perceive safety, security, and crisis preparedness at the district?
  2. What recommendations do internal and external HCPS stakeholders have for improving security, and crisis preparedness at the district?
  3. What were the most common types of threat assessments conducted during the 2021-2022 school year at HCPS?
  4. What were the most dangerous types of offenses and incidents (including drug-related offenses) that occurred during the past five years in HCPS schools?
Introduction

The Kirwan Commission was created to make recommendations on improving Maryland’s education system both fiscally and for performance. The Maryland General Assembly passed the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future in 2020, as an education reform bill based on Kirwan recommendations. In February 2021, the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future became law.

Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is currently developing an implementation plan for the 2020 Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. In the fall and winter of 2021, HCPS brought together stakeholders from its Central Office, schools, and community to participate in small focus groups to discuss what implementation can look like. These discussions focused on the following areas: Early Childhood Education (ECE), College and Career Readiness (CCR), Career Ladder, Student Support, and Budget, as represented in the graphic below. The HCPS North Star initiative, which was introduced in the spring of 2019 to help ensure every student will graduate ready for success in college, career, and life, aligns well with the Blueprint focus areas.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

  1. What do stakeholders find exciting about the Blueprint?
  2. What do stakeholders find challenging or concerning about the Blueprint?
  3. On what aspects of the Blueprint has HCPS already made progress?
  4. On what aspects of the Blueprint does HCPS need to focus?
Introduction

In the Spring of 2019, the superintendent of Harford County Public Schools (HCPS), Dr. Sean Bulson, introduced the North Star initiative in collaboration with the leadership of Harford Community College (HCC). The goal of the HCPS North Star initiative is to ensure all students have access to academic opportunities, social-emotional support, and real-world experiences tailored to meet the needs, abilities, and interests of the diverse learners. Every student will graduate ready for success in college, career, and life.

HCPS leadership believes students can best demonstrate their preparation for success after high school through achievement in one of two areas:

  • Prepared for college: High school students who earn college credit or meet the standard for earning college credit by succeeding in college-level work in high school will be more successful in college.
  • Prepared for a career: High school students who earn an industry-recognized credential will be more successful in a post high school career.

The school district measures whether students are prepared for either college or a career by monitoring the following three graduate outcomes. Students must achieve success in one of the following three areas to meet the North Star standard:

  1. Meets criteria for potential college credit via Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Career and Technology Education (CTE) courses.
  2. Earns college credit through a dual enrollment course.
  3. Attains a licensure, certification, or meets the Technical Skills Assessment (TSA) requirements in a CTE program.

This report answers the following research questions:

Research Questions
  1. What percentage of HCPS graduates in the classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020 met one of the following North Star Graduate Outcomes?
    1. Met the criteria for potential college credit via AP, IB, or CTE (North Star Graduate Outcome 1)
    2. Earned college credit through a dual enrollment course (North Star Graduate Outcome 2)
    3. Earned a career licensure, certification, or met the TSA requirements in a CTE program (North Star Graduate Outcome 3)
  2. What is the relationship between achieving a North Star Graduate Outcome and future college success?
    1. Enrollment in college the fall after graduation
    2. Enrollment in college within the year following graduation
    3. Persistence from freshman to sophomore year of college (only classes of 2018 and 2019)

This study offers an economic analysis of the HCPS North Star initiative and explains the potential return on investment the initiative may yield.

The Business, Economic, and Community Outreach Network (BEACON), of the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University, conducted a comprehensive study to determine the potential outcomes of the North Star initiative of the Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) in Harford County, Maryland. This study included economic impacts, and a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis of the North Star Initiative.

Research Questions

The BEACON team that performed this study focused on the following study questions:

  • What is the expected value of North Star to a student?
  • What are the changes in college readiness attributable to North Star?
  • What are the changes in career outcomes attributable to North Star?
  • What are the added economic and employment outcomes of the North Star Initiative?
  • What is the Return on Investment (ROI) on each public dollar invested?
  • What are some non-quantifiable benefits of the North Start Initiative?

In January 2021, HCPS conducted virtual focus groups about COVID-19 and the 2020-21 school year with the goal of understanding what went well with district operations during the pandemic, lessons learned, and priorities for planning for the return to in-person learning. The Superintendent of Schools, Sean Bulson, and his leadership team used a focus group method to bring together virtually a demographically diverse group of stakeholders to participate in a guided discussion on the implementation of educational programs, services, or concepts. The HCPS facilitators or moderators led a 30-90-minute discussion within the groups to gather helpful information and feedback. The HCPS focus groups were administered separately to teachers, principals, central office staff, students, and parents. Members of these focus groups discussed topics related to virtual and hybrid instruction, special education, Learning Support Centers, and other key topics.

The HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation worked with focus group facilitators, HCPS staff and external researchers to review and synthesize the meeting minutes from the focus groups, summaries of survey results and follow-up surveys, and raw survey data for educators (teachers, principals), central office staff, students and parents. As part of this review and analysis, the researchers and the team identified key themes the District can use to evaluate and improve district operations, teaching and learning, and its Continuity of Learning Plan.

The following research questions guided the analysis of the focus group information and data:
  1. What did HCPS do well during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. What do stakeholders perceive as the lessons during COVID-19?
  3. What do HCPS stakeholders perceive as the needs related to return to in-person learning?

This report presents key findings and recommendations from the analyses of the data, and information received from the focus groups stakeholders

Recommendations:
The findings included in this report support the following five (5) recommendations to help improve teaching and learning for all students, the effectiveness of district operations, and the HCPS Continuity of Learning Plan.
  1. Share the focus group feedback with the community to share what went well, lessons learned and to highlight how HCPS will address the areas of need identified by all the focus group members.
  2. Continue to identify evidence-based practices and/or successful instructional strategies used by peer school districts to inform the HCPS district’s reopening and Continuity of Learning Plan.
  3. Continue providing virtual options for students moving into next year and beyond.
  4. Consider permanent implementation of some of the best practices used during COVID-19 operations.
  5. HCPS leadership must continue to seek a balance between consistency and flexibility in certain circumstances.




Survey Reports

Click on a survey report title to learn more.

2023-2024

Overview And Background Information

Over the past few years, Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Blueprint Committees and workgroups have been working through various requirements of legislation known as the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. Over one-hundred and fifty (150+) people serve on these committees with approximately a third of the members representing central office stakeholders, a third participating as school-based stakeholders, and a third representing community partners. As a result of this work, HCPS drafted a Blueprint Implementation Plan.

To inform this process, the HCPS Office of Strategic Initiative collaborated with the Office of Research and Program Evaluation and administered a multi-stakeholder survey in February and March of 2023. This survey was designed to gather feedback on the Blueprint Implementation Plan from several stakeholder groups.

Respondents were first presented with the complete written draft implementation plan, a short video about the implementation plan, then asked to complete the feedback providing guidance about the implementation plan. Finally, respondents were given an opportunity to write comments regarding which aspects of Blueprint implementation HCPS demonstrates exemplary progress and which aspects of Blueprint implementation HCPS demonstrates a need to improve planning for better progress.

This report details the results of the analyses of both closed and open-ended questions. For a detailed accounting of questions and responses to closed-ended, please refer to the “Closed-Ended Survey Question Results” section at the end of this report.

Research Questions

Through an analysis of open-ended responses, this report addressed the following research questions:

  • What is exciting about what HCPS is working on to implement the Blueprint requirements?
  • What is challenging about what HCPS is working on to implement the Blueprint requirements?
  • For which aspects of Blueprint implementation is HCPS demonstrating exemplary progress?
  • For which aspects of Blueprint implementation does HCPS need to improve planning for better progress?

2021-2022

In the spring of 2021, Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) sought to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement of students in the virtual and/or hybrid learning environments necessitated by COVID-19. To this end, HCPS administered a survey to students in Grades 3-12, all teachers, as well as school and central office staff to identify engaging practices and to analyze responses to the survey’s closed- and open-ended questions.

This analysis will support HCPS in identifying best practices to engage future virtual learners and develop guidance for virtual and/or hybrid programs that may be developed at the county and/or state level.

This report answers the following research questions:

  1. What feedback do students have about their engagement during virtual or hybrid instruction?
  2. What strategies did educators use in virtual or hybrid instruction that had a positive impact on students’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement?
  3. What did educators find challenging about engaging students (cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally) during virtual or hybrid instruction?
  4. What digital tools/resources did respondents include in their open-ended responses? (For manually coded responses, only)
Appendix B: Student Engagement Survey: Closed-Ended Responses Appendix B: Educator Survey on Student Engagement: Closed Ended Responses
OVERVIEW

Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is committed to providing superior customer service as measured by its TRACK-ing Excellence program, where TRACK represents Transparent, Responsive, Accessible, and Kind communication. To gauge satisfaction with the district’s customer service, HCPS offers a stakeholder survey on its website (Appendix B).

In this document, the HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation presents findings from an analysis of open-ended responses to HCPS’ Customer Satisfaction Survey. This analysis is for the responses received during the survey administration window of January 15, 2021, through June 30, 2021. During this period, HCPS received a total of 327 responses (Appendix A: Closed-Ended Results) including 164 open-ended responses (out of a total of 167) after data cleaning. Of the 164 open-ended responses, 10 included comments unrelated to customer service experiences within the district. To keep the findings as salient as possible for HCPS’ future decision-making, HCPS excluded these comments from this analysis, focusing on the content contained in the remaining 154 open-ended responses.

KEY OBJECTIVE
Through an analysis of open-ended responses, HCPS addresses the following research question:
  • What suggestions or comments do stakeholders have to improve HCPS’ customer service?
RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the findings presented in this report, HCPS should consider implementing the following recommendations:
1. Continue to identify opportunities to celebrate individuals who provide TRACK communication. A vast majority of respondents (93 percent) expressed satisfaction with their experience and often highlighted the work of an individual employee, and three-quarters (75 percent) specifically thank or highlight an individual employee.
2. Offer employees trainings on how to de-escalate certain situations and/or how to best work with stakeholders who have high-level concerns about district decision-making and communication. While very few responses expressed dissatisfaction with their experience (7 percent), those that did often identified district operations as an area for improvement.
3. Identify ways to significantly increase the number of survey respondents to have more survey data. To increase awareness and to encourage participation to receive thousands of survey data per year, HCPS leadership should enhance its outreach campaign to reach more parents, staff, and students. HCPS only received a total of 327 responses in six (6) months. Encourage staff members to include the survey link as part of their Outlook Email signature.
KEY FINDINGS
Most respondents reported positive experiences and high satisfaction with customer service at HCPS. Respondents highlighted numerous aspects of customer service strengths, such as clear and timely communication (40 percent), professional knowledge (34 percent), consistent service (30 percent), and friendly employees (25 percent). Three-quarters (75 percent) of responses mentioned specific employee names to publicly show their appreciation.
While most responses highlighted strengths of HCPS’ customer service, the few responses that identified areas for improvement (7 percent) note a desire for increased transparency in decision-making and improved communication.
This document presents findings from an analysis of closed-ended and open-ended responses of the Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Budget Survey (2021-2022). Coming Soon - View Report

2020-2021

In 2018, Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) introduced the North Star initiative to ensure every student graduates with college experience or career licensure. The activities of NorthStar fall into two major categories, which include (1) the collaboration with Harford Community College (HCC) to provide students with access to college courses and career licensure while in high school, and (2) redesign of the Pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 preparation and experiences that occur prior to students' pursuit of college or career experience. Digital Teaching and Learning is a strategy to advance our North Star initiative. View Report
In May 2020, Superintendent of Schools Sean Bulson, Ed. D. wanted to learn more about the current student perceptions of racism, implicit bias, and other forms of discrimination within Harford County Public Schools (HCPS). Former Student Member of the Board of Education of Harford County, Christian Walker, and Phoebe Bailey, then a rising senior at Joppatowne High School and current student member of the Board of Education of Harford County for the 2020-2021 school year, worked with Yakoubou Ousmanou, manager of Research and Program Evaluation, and Dr. Paula Stanton, supervisor of Equity and Cultural Proficiency, to develop and administer the HCPS Survey on Racism, Implicit Bias, and Other Forms of Discrimination. Dr. Bulson and his senior leadership team encouraged the administration of this survey and provided all the resources and support needed to successfully launch the survey; and pledged to use the findings of the survey to help address the issues of systemic racism, implicit bias, and other forms of discrimination in HCPS. View Report




Program Evaluation Reports


Introduction

Introduction The Office of Research and Program Evaluation collaborated designed a mixed-methods evaluation framework HCPS will use to monitor the implementation and the impact of the Blended Virtual Learning Program at Swan Creek School. This collaboration entails leveraging multiple methodologies to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the Swan Creek School’s Blended Virtual Learning Program, including survey research, qualitative research (e.g., stakeholder focus groups), and quantitative research (e.g., student data analyses), and a comprehensive capstone report.

The attached document is a checklist students and parents can use to determine their “fit” for a virtual learning program. Students and families interested in enrolling in a Blended Virtual Learning Program (BVLP) at Swan Creek School (SCS) can use this Fit Assessment to learn about the characteristics of a successful BVLP student and determine if a BVLP is a good fit for their student and family.

Introduction

In the following report, the Office of Research and Program Evaluation presents findings from two Pre-Surveys conducted by HCPS. The goal of these pre-surveys was to collect feedback from elementary, middle, and high school students, parents, and staff regarding their perceptions of the district’s online learning program, the Swan Creek School’s (SCS’) Blended Virtual Learning Program. To this end, Swan Creek School partnered with the Office of Research (Researchers) and other stakeholders to analyze responses to these surveys’ open-ended questions.

This analysis will support HCPS in evaluating the SCS program and answers the following research questions:

Research Questions
  1. What do SCS staff think would improve professional development or training sessions to strengthen the Blended Virtual Learning Program?
  2. What do SCS parents and students think would improve the Blended Virtual Learning program to serve students more effectively?
  3. What strategies are SCS students, teachers, and/or staff doing to create a sense of belonging?
  4. What concerns or challenges do SCS stakeholders have?