The New Bedford School Department conducted its second annual Community Survey and saw over a 300% increase in participation from staff, families, and community members compared to last year's.

Supt. Pia Durkin and Mayor Jon Mitchell agree that making the surveys more available helped lead to more feedback this year.

Dr. Durkin says the survey helps assess the path of the school district and says it's a continuous work in progress for developing a model school system.

"We will continue to have the barometer of assessing our work with our most important customers, which are our parents and our children, and to look at what we're doing well and what we need to improve," Durkin said.

Durkin's office has gone through the responses of over 500 staff members, but is still calculating feedback from parents and students.

A majority of respondents agree that the school district is improving, while 66% feel well informed about the city's turnaround effort in public schools, and 87% believe the administration's central office is providing good feedback to questions and concerns.

The survey also asked staff about expectations and rigor, professional development, available resources, school climate, school leadership, and supportive relationships.

All questions received favorable responses except for resources, which Dr. Durkin acknowledged is still a work in progress.

The full report with a breakdown of the results will be available later this summer.

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