Monday, January 25, 2016

Summit's Parent & Student Survey Results: Over 90% of Families Would Recommend Our Schools

Every year, we survey our parents, students, and faculty to ensure that we're always hearing from the people in the community that matter most and using feedback to get better. 
We are excited to share with you results from our Fall 2015 Parent & Student Surveys. Across all Summit schools, we had 65% parent participation and 75% student participation in our surveys! We read each and every one of the responses, as both parent and student feedback have been critical to improving our schools and building the amazing school communities that we have today.    
A few highlights about from the surveys are:
  • We are proud that 91% of our parents would recommend our schools!
  • The top three reasons families stay with Summit are our mentoring program, focus on Habits of Success (i.e., setting & meeting goals, self-awareness, interpersonal skills, ), and our small student body.
  • One of our key goals is for parents and faculty to be partners in supporting students and the school, so we are excited that 92% of parents feel that partnership.
  • At the core of Summit is a belief that all students can be college & career ready, so it’s important that 92% of students think that all or most of their teachers believe that they can get a good grade if they try, and 89% of students know that they must work hard to get a good grade.  
  • Students are realizing how their learning applies to college and career, as nearly 80% of students feel they make choices during school that connect to their long-term goals and 85% feel they know how to get help when they need it.  These self-directed learning skills and habits are invaluable to success in college, which is why Summit students develop, practice and model these skills daily.  

U.S News & World Report Features Summit as School of the Future

 “Almost two years after I visited my first Summit school, I'm even more convinced that I'm seeing the future.” David Osborne, U.S. News & World Report

Check out U.S News & World Report’s “The Schools of the Future” featuring Summit Public Schools. The article reviews the history of the evolution of Summit’s personalized learning school model. At Summit, we aim to prepare our students for their future -- in college, career, and life. That means students are empowered to drive their own learning, are learning how to learn, and have real-world projects and experiences that push them to both apply their knowledge and connect what they're learning to potential future careers.  Beyond academics, students also needs to develop the habits and qualities that will enable them to be successful in their lives, such as how to set and meet a goal, persevere through a challenge, and work with others. Learn more about the the school of the future.

Why Diversity in Schools Benefits All Students

At Summit, we intentionally serve a diverse student body because we believe students with various backgrounds, cultures, languages and living experiences create a richer community where students can learn from each other. As the US becomes more and more ethnically and culturally diverse, students must learn how to respect, appreciate, and empathize with others and their differences. This will serve them not only in school but throughout their life as they broaden their perspectives and see the world through different lenses.
The benefits that students receive from being in a diverse school are similar to ones that companies and employees gain in the workplace. Research has shown that diversity is critical to driving innovation and promoting creativity, because it’s better to have team members with different skills, beliefs, and experiences when trying to solve complex problems. We learn more from people different than us than people similar to us. That’s why our classes proactively promote collaboration and sharing of ideas in pairs, small groups, and whole class discussions. Our students have so much to teach us and each other.  

Investigating Chemical Reactions

In this week’s 7th grade science class at Summit Denali in Sunnyvale, students saw the bubbling, fizzing reaction that happens when mixing baking powder and vinegar together. They also saw something else -- an endothermic reaction where the liquid became cooler when the chemicals mixed. In this project, our young scientists will explore the chemical reactions behind why things get hot and cold. They’ll also get a chance to present their findings to their fellow chemical scientists in the laboratory!

Summit Prep Student is a Student Rising Above

CBS SF Bay Area highlighted Summit Prep senior Julissa Cruz Gutierrez in this week’s Students Rising Above series. “When you look at Julissa, you see a tremendously successful, beautiful articulate woman. I don’t think you have any impression of how hard she fights everyday to be as successful as she is,” her mentor Maren Adler explained in the article. 
Julissa became deaf when she was five years old; however, her biggest challenge was bullying when she moved from a school for the deaf to a traditional school. She was bullied not only for being deaf but for also the weight gain from her medications. How did she overcome it? Family has been an instrumental cheerleader. Attending a smaller school at Summit Prep and having supporters like her mentor. And, a talk on ““Healthy is the New Skinny” that helped her realize that “it wasn’t worth it” to hate her body. She learned that “despite all the challenges that have come your way, there is always a way to rise above them.”  Read more about Julissa’s inspiring story.
Watch Julissa’s Story of Rising Above