Post-facilitation survey at Steamboat high school shows improvement, work ahead |

Post-facilitation survey at Steamboat high school shows improvement, work ahead

84% of staff say school is good place to work, up from 48% this spring

Steamboat Springs High School.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

A survey of Steamboat Springs High School staff that participated in an effort to facilitate a better relationship with school administration shows staff are coming to school with a positive attitude, though transparency, collaboration and trust remain areas for improvement.

Easing tensions at the high school that came to a head at the end of last school year has been one of Superintendent Celine Wicks’s top priorities since ascending to the role this summer.

While the survey revealed several positives — a much higher percentage of staff surveyed said the school was a “good place to work” compared to a survey done this spring — Wicks said it will also serve as a baseline to ensure there is continued improvements in the building’s culture in the coming months.

“Certified staff are feeling supported by their colleagues. They got to know their colleagues through this process,” Wicks said. “But we know that there are things that are out of this survey that the high school still needs to work on.”

More than 84% of staff said they would recommend the high school as a “good place to work,” compared to just 48% of staff saying that on the 2022 Teaching and Learning Conditions Colorado survey. All of the 32 staff members that took the survey say they believe staff come to school with a “positive attitude.”

But Wicks said topics that need work are transparency, collaboration and trust.

Just over 40% of staff either agreed or strongly agreed that school administration was transparent with the decision-making process. Another 38% said they were neutral, with the rest disagreeing to some degree.

The plurality of staff said they either agreed or strongly agreed there is a collaborative approach to decisions at the high school, but that was still less than half the staff surveyed. About 40% of staff responded to that question with a neutral answer.

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When asked if staff trusted administration, more than 20% said they didn’t, another 38% remained neutral, while about 40% said they did. About 53% of staff said they felt they could speak freely without fear of retribution, 13% said they couldn’t and 34% said “maybe.”

Wicks said she, district Director of Teaching and Learning Jay Hamric and Steamboat Springs Education Association’s Kim Waldschmidt will be working with administration at the high school to implement strategies that came from the facilitation process.

“We’re going to give them a few months to really implement what (facilitator Diane Groves) has asked them to do and what they agreed upon doing,” Wicks said.

In November or December, Wicks said staff would be sent another survey to assess how these strategies are working.

“We need to see some growth there,” Wicks said. “We know it’s a heavy lift, but that is what we are looking for.”

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