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Results of survey tracking graduates' progress expected soon

July 12, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - The results of a survey given to all 2006 graduating seniors in Washington County should be available soon, Patricia Abernethy, deputy superintendent for system-wide improvement, efficiency and accountability, told the Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday.

The Life Track Program surveys were given to graduating students in June and will be taken by the same students again in 18 months and in five years.

Abernethy said the survey will track graduates' progress and satisfaction with their education, as well as the benefits of that education. The results of the questionnaire will be used by administrators to assess how satisfied students are with their education.

"Thinking back now on your teachers may be different 18 months later when (students) realize the value of that teacher," Abernethy said.

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The graduate exit survey has 18 questions, including broad biographical information about students, like ethnicity and gender.

Other survey questions focused on courses, teachers and extracurricular activities. Surveyed students also were asked to grade areas such as whether teachers were knowledgeable about the curriculum, and whether administrators showed care and concern.

Abernethy said the surveys will be modified when they are given to students in 18 months and in five years.

Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said the question that asks students how proud they were to graduate from their high schools is an important one.

"This is a very telling question," she said. "I think this will be extremely significant."

Abernethy said next year's surveys might include a section for students to add comments.

Board Member Wayne D. Ridenour suggested including questions about sports and extracurricular activities, asking whether they were positive components of students' school experiences.

"(The surveys) will help us identify a variety of issues," Abernethy said.

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