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Consultant will question MVMS students about school’s culture, climate

GOFFSTOWN - Students will have an opportunity to weigh in on their experiences at Mountain View Middle School in a survey that will be taken on school computers.

According to a letter sent to parents by SAU 19 Superintendent Stacy Buckley, every student will be asked to complete the survey, conducted by WestEd, the consultant hired to address issues concerning rigor, culture and climate at the middle school.

Buckley said the students have been scheduled to take the survey either in the computer lab or the school's information center, and it should take about 15 minutes to complete.

It will be composed of 30 structured questions and three open response questions.

Students will rate such statements as, 'I feel I have fun learning,' 'I feel challenged by the work my teachers ask me to do,' and 'I am recognized for good work.'

Open response questions will give students a chance to reflect on their school experiences, expressing their likes, dislikes and recommendations for improvement at the middle school, which houses about 890 students in grades 7 to 12 in Goffstown, Dunbarton and New Boston.

Buckley said that responses will be filed electronically, directly to WestEd. Only whole school and grade-level responses will be reported, not individual responses, Buckley said.

Parent Meg Norklun said it's important for the students to be able to express their opinions about their school.

'I do feel that it is extremely important to get the students' opinions in order to get a comprehensive evaluation of the school,' she said. 'I think asking the students how they feel gives a good overview of their opinion of how the school works and runs, and I believe that is why we're doing this evaluation.'

Buckley said that the results of the survey won't be released until the entire study is completed.

'Results will be released with the completed study,' she said.

WestEd is a national company with an office in Woburn, Mass., that is conducting the study of Mountain View at a cost of $35,500.

Buckley said parents, teachers and staff will also be surveyed in the upcoming months.

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