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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The annual SurveyWorks questionnaire highlights the successes of Rhode Island schools and shows what needs improvement. The Rhode Island Department of Education said it’s seeing significant gains in family and educator engagement, as well as college and career readiness.

The 2023 results had the highest response rates yet — more than 120,000 responses from administrators, educators, family, and students.

“Providence had the higher family engagement rate than the rest of the state,” R.I. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green said Tuesday.

The survey showed family engagement was up by 10% compared to 2022, the highest it has been since the pandemic, according to Infante-Green.

“Within these groups — Hispanic, Latino, Black and African American educators and families — had above-average responses,” she added.

Gov. Dan McKee said students and families believe social-emotional and hands-on learning is creating a positive impact in the classroom. The survey revealed students statewide in grades 6 through 12 had a 12 percentage point increase in discussing college and careers.

“Most kids, regardless, are apprehensive about that next step,” McKee said, “and I think students are saying, ‘Prepare me as much as you can.’”

The usefulness of individualized learning plans increased by 9 percentage points to 33%, the survey showed.

“Making sure that students have an education that is meeting their needs,” Infante-Green explained.

Infante-Green and McKee agree the goal going forward is attendance as we continue to transition into post-pandemic learning.

“We know that there has been a lot of learning loss, there’s a lot to catch up, there’s a lot for us to do,” Infante-Green said, “But what this shows is that Rhode Island is well posed to do that and everyone is on the same page for how we move forward.”

Educators can access the free tool playbook which allows them to craft lesson plans based on their schools results.

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