2017 Survey Results

I am writing to share information from the 2017 Parent/Guardian, Faculty and Staff, and Student surveys. I am grateful to the 750 parents, guardians, students, faculty, and staff who responded to the school surveys, sharing their thoughtful reflections and feedback on their Bush experience.

The data collected from these three surveys provides the school leadership with a unique and comprehensive view of how we are delivering on the school’s mission. The Bush School worked closely with the survey and research company YouGov to administer and analyze the surveys, ultimately sharing the results with school leadership—the Board of Trustees and Administrative Group. As a school that is continuing to improve, the surveys play an important role in informing priorities and planning for the future.

The school’s administrative leadership team has addressed some of the concerns in previous surveys by:
  • increasing personnel across the school for learning and support services—counseling and supporting students with diagnosed learning differences;
  • working with a language consultant to conduct an audit of the world languages program, and to work with faculty to create a plan for instruction, pedagogy, and student assessment;
  • sending a group of faculty, staff, students, and parents to Stanford University’s Challenge Success conference to develop strategies and systems for mitigating  student stress;
  • creating an Academic Dean position to support the continued professional growth of faculty;
  • auditing and re-organizing the Lower School and Middle School math programs;
  • dedicating resources to building a more competitive and mission-consistent athletics program;
  • augmenting programming, staffing, and hardware to support technology infrastructure and curriculum; and
  • creating a Board-level committee—Campus Master Planning—to address long-term facilities needs.
These efforts and initiatives have made Bush a better school. In this communication, I share some of the highlights and key findings from the 2017 surveys.

Lifelong Learning and Parent Education

Dear Bush Community,
“The most important factor in any school is the teacher.” —Helen Taylor Bush

One of the pleasures of working in a K-12 school is watching the growth, progress, and maturation of the children in our care; from the timid Kindergarten student exploring letters, sounds, words, and meanings, to the intrepid Twelfth Grade student solving a complex math problem and sharing her discovery with her classmates. As teachers, we relish observing students unlock the mysteries of the world around them.

Continue reading “Lifelong Learning and Parent Education”

Bending Towards Justice in Independent Education

On Monday, I had the honor to walk alongside 35 members of The Bush School community–parents, teachers, staff, administrators, Trustees, alumnae/i, students and Friends of Bush–from Garfield High School to the Jackson Federal Building in Seattle’s annual MLK March. The march, now in its 35th year, honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have celebrated his 88th birthday on Sunday. The theme of this year’s march was “Stop the Hate! Come Together” and was open to “everyone who honors the goals and methods of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Dr. King’s goal of securing racial equality through peaceful, nonviolent resistance is almost universally accepted today, and Dr. King remains one of the most admired figures in American history. In 2011, Dr. King boasted a 95% favorability rating, with over two-thirds of respondents indicating that they thought highly—rated 4 or 5 on a five-point scale–of the slain civil rights leader. Clearly, the country’s feelings toward Dr. King have evolved over time. Largely beloved and revered by Americans today, in 1966, only 37% of Americans had a favorable opinion of Dr. King, and 44% held a strongly unfavorable opinion him. Why has Dr. King’s message grown more resonant with the passage of time?  Continue reading “Bending Towards Justice in Independent Education”

Why Baseball Matters in the Classroom

Watching the 9–3 Chicago Cubs victory over Cleveland reminded me how compelling America’s Pastime can be. Baseball has the power to elevate an ordinary player to hero status with the swing of a bat, an exceptional catch, or a remarkable 9th inning save. Baseball is a statistics-driven league. Historians and statistics geeks love to compare players within seasons and across eras to determine their relative value. In the drawn-out 162-game baseball season, there are few anomalies and a player’s worth is easily measured by his stats—often in averages. Good hitters average more than three hits every ten at bats. Great pitchers average fewer than two runs per nine innings.  Continue reading “Why Baseball Matters in the Classroom”