Survey Reflects Students Wants and Needs to the Superintendent of Malden Schools

 Malden is a vibrant and energetic community that is growing into a more linguistically and culturally diverse city. Malden Public Schools proudly celebrates itself as the  most diverse school district in Massachusetts. The Malden Public Schools District ranks #1 in diversity in the state as found on Niche.

At MHS, students want their voices to be heard and to be a part of the decision-making. There are so many different opinions and perspectives that can contribute towards making positive changes. In order to be able to be at the table, Superintendent Dr. Noriega-Murphy has been working with different student club leaders but in her strategic planning, she needed a liaison between students and her team. Dr. Noriega-Murphy appointed me as the Student Advisor to the superintendent after working closely together for two years.

Together with the School Committee Student Representative Meklit “Meki” Abel, Key Club Vice President Nicholas Duggan, and the Malden Civics Council, we were able to draft a pilot survey to obtain student opinions regarding their ideas, suggestions for improvements as well as their challenges at MHS. The information from this pilot survey can inform practices, scheduling, as well as budgetary decisions on what can be offered and done at MHS. 

The student satisfaction survey is a survey that we hope to use to engage the students in a way that allows the school committee and administrators of the city to understand the current situation with students in the high school. I always feel that there are decisions made within the school system without a thorough understanding of what the students go through. The creators of this survey wish for this survey to be a way to bridge this gap and get feedback on recent implications such as advisory,” said Nick Duggan, Vice President of the Malden Civics Council. 

 Malden High School has a current school enrollment of 1915 students. We received 158 responses.
Below please find the survey questions, collected data, short analysis, some quotes, and the collective information of what students would like to see in class offering options.

Graph of wanted courses, responses from MHS students. AIDEN LUCIANO

The above information surprised Ms. Emilys Peña, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  “Home economics used to mean something different back in my day; more along the lines of sewing and cooking; it's interesting to see what their thoughts are on home economics,” stated Peña.

Information from this survey also shows the types of languages students would like to see offered at MHS.

Graph of wanted language courses at MHS, responses from MHS students. AIDEN LUCIANO

To break down racial barriers and offer languages spoken by the district’s most populous ethnicities is thought to be crucial. It’s not just about learning words; it’s about delving into the rich history of each culture. This understanding fosters empathy, breaking down social and racial prejudices, one lesson at a time.

 A lot of students also favored a 10-minute or so break in between classes, in some shape.

The data shows that out of 158 students who responded to the survey, 59% favored the current schedule. Many of those students advocated for teachers, stated that it could be strenuous for them, or stated that a break would be useful in between the 80-minute class. 35% were against the 80-minute class periods, and 6% purely said” I don't know.”

“I am always interested in listening and learning from students’ perspective. I am glad that students launched this pilot student survey and are sharing the data as well as data analysis with us. I know that data informs practice. I am also looking to collaborate closely with our students and create a Malden Public Schools Student Advisory Council (MPSSAC) to work with the Superintendent. This council will primarily focus on listening and learning, collaborating in addressing critical issues such as school climate, students’ rights, students’ responsibilities, as well as to provide student perspective and feedback to school policies as we have done in the last three years. I believe in an inclusive and transparent collaborative relationship with our students in order to successfully move the district forward as a Malden Team!“ said Superintendent Dr.Noriega-Murphy.

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