image of New Paint BranchHigh School

MCPS Surveys and Staff Morale

Correction: The table with data has been removed.

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) surveys all staff at every school in the district each year. The results are posted on the MCPS website, here.

The staff survey, titled Staff Climate Survey, asks staff to rate each question with strongly agree, agree, neither agree or disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree. The survey includes the following questions:

  1. I have opportunities for professional growth.
  2. Staff morale is positive in this school.
  3. I would recommend my school to friends and family as a good place to work.
  4. I have the necessary resources to do my job successfully.
  5. My school is safe for staff and students.
  6. My school leadership team fosters a collaborative work environment.
  7. My school leadership team sets clear expectations for staff.
  8. The school leadership involves me in decisions affecting my work.
  9. There is open communication within my school.
  10. There is open communication throughout all levels of MCPS.
  11. I receive timely feedback on my performance.
  12. My school recognizes staff for their quality work and accomplishments.
  13. This school promotes a culture of respect for all students.
  14. My school promotes a culture of respect and collaboration among all staff.
  15. Staff in this school have high expectations and believe every student can learn.
  16. Staff in this school are committed to using a variety of methods to help every student succeed.
  17. My building is clean and well maintained.

A recent Washington Post article contained a ranking of 25 Montgomery County public high schools by staff morale and percentage low income students. The ranking was done by Brian Donlon, a Montgomery County public schools teacher with 24 years of experience. The article further lists the percentage of low-income students alongside the morale ranking to explore whether there is a correlation between the two measures. Staff morale was taken from the responses to question 2 of the Staff Climate Survey. The percentage of low income students is based on the number of students who receive Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs).

The Post article deals with the question of how we judge the quality of a school. One alternative to the widespread use of test scores is “school climate data.” Rating schools by school climate data involves judging them by “how highly staffers, parents and students rate them.”

Based on the data, the schools with the five highest staff morale are Paint Branch, Walter Johnson, Whitman, Northwest and Poolesville. The five schools with the lowest staff morale are Sherwood, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Magruder, Gaithersburg, and Springbrook.

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