School Survey Says Foreign Language, STEM Programs Most Appealing to Families

Loudoun parents are in favor of new language and information technology programs and academies being implemented in LCPS, according to a survey conducted by the division.

The survey, distributed in February, included responses from 6,628 parents, who rated their levels of interest across a wide array of options. 

“This also will be considered as part of the upcoming Strategic Plan. One focus of this plan will be the expansion of opportunities for students,” division spokesman Wayde Byard said of the survey.

Department of Instruction staff members shared survey results with members of the School Board Specialized Programs & Centers Committee on March 15.

The most popular program was a Dual Language Immersion Academy for elementary school students, with 56% of respondents indicating they were very interested. There was similar support for a World Languages Academy for elementary school students, with 54% of respondents very interested.

“I’m glad to see the world language program remaining in the budget given where it ended up on the survey,” Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) said. Serotkin was a strong proponent of including World Languages funding in next year’s budget. Additionally, 47% of participants said they were very interested in a World Languages Academy for middle school students.

High school STEM programs were also popular. Fifty-five percent of respondents were very interested in an Information Technology Academy, and 48% in a Computer Integration Engineering and Design Program.

Renee Dawson, Assistant Director for Community Connections and Computer Science, said staff would use the data to analyze current programs and course offerings to look for opportunities to build upon programs.

“We are going to continue to explore business partnerships, grant funding and other community support for potential academies,” she added.

She said that staff would consider space, availability and appropriateness for new programs.

Serotkin suggested that scaling programs based on interest should be considered.

The survey included less popular categories, such as an Agricultural Education Academy and Environmental Academy. 

“For some of the more niche programs… I just want to perhaps caution that just because something has a low level of interest doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do the program,” he said. “You maybe set that program to accommodate 20 or 30 students instead of 200 students. But there still could be an overriding or community interest in doing some of these.”

5 thoughts on “School Survey Says Foreign Language, STEM Programs Most Appealing to Families

  • 2022-03-18 at 5:23 pm

    OK. Couple of questions before board members take too much credit for having parents want more for free. 1. Knowing that many diverse parents depend on teaching of trades (Monroe Tech) was one of the survey questions – would you like LCPS to stop blocking interested students from being able to take trade related courses? 2. Are you really going to brag about getting less than 8% parental response for a chance to ask for more for free? (92% were unresponsive?) 3. Did you ask if any parents were concerned about their children having more than the policy limit of homework every night or that material was being demanded to be worked on never covered in class? 4. Did you ask if parents wanted to know about how many formal bullying complaints were occurring in their school per month or why that was never disclosed? 5. Did you ask if any parents would like to have the first two years of the AOS Program transcript numbered course available in their child’s high school? Safe Schools and EVERYTHING done in the best interests of children is the threshold that should be met by all who accept the stipend. Let’s meet the minimum before taking credit for what appears to be a non-response to a quite limited survey. 🙂

  • 2022-03-18 at 9:11 pm

    It’s commendable that LCPS is surveying families to ascertain their needs & desires. Let it not be said LCPS isn’t responsive to the concerns of parents & students. Welcome to Spring Loudoun!

  • 2022-03-19 at 10:43 am

    So LCPS cannot provide slots for all of the students seeking vocational training right now. And yet they are looking at niche low-paying alternatives?!! Talk about clueless. Why is LCPS asking for $70M more in funds with a declining enrollment without expanding vocational capacity AT ALL!!

  • 2022-03-21 at 7:17 am

    LCPS and their parent surveys are a joke. They put out surveys every year for the school calendar and still do what they want to do. Stop with the BS surveys.

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