Steve Gruenert, a professor at Indiana State University, spoke to the Clay Community School Board of Trustees about the results of the survey and CCSC Supt. Dan Schroeder talked with The Brazil Times about the findings and what it means for Clay Community Schools.
"We conducted the study to gauge how students, parents and employees feel about our schools," Schroeder said. "We wanted to get an idea of our perceived strengths and areas that need attention."
Of the 9,000 surveys sent out, approximately 2,000 were returned. There were 32 questions per the respected school and 16 extra questions pertaining to North Clay Middle School. Gruenert then went to each school and choose a random group of individuals, approximately 10 teachers, five support staff and 20 parents to interview.
Gruenert defined climate is the attitude of the organization and culture as the personality.
"He was impressed with our school safety and security as well as the cleanliness," Schroeder said. "Overall, the data suggests that there are no major issues in the schools regarding school climate."
In his report, Gruenert commented on the reception at the schools with the friendliness of the staff. He also discussed on the climate in the schools not being an issue, with more of "a family feeling."
"I found that everyone likes to work where they do and the parents felt the teachers liked where they worked," he said. "As with a few secretaries and teachers close to retirement they did not seem to look forward to this event."
A review of the middle school questions finds there is little anxiety expressed by students in elementary school and a strong sense of support by current middle school students to continue with sixth-grade at the middle school. Based on the interviews conducted, adults are split 60-40 in favor of continuing with sixth-grade students at the middle school.
"Most who were against the middle school were citing their own personal experience as sufficient," he said. "Only a few of the ones against the middle school actually knew of the physical setting and the philosophy behind it."
Gruenert suggested people go visit the school and learn first-hand what is going on instead of relying on third-person accounts.
"The survey results provided reliable information and we will use that information to make our school system better than it already is," Schroeder said.