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Results from school survey released

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dan Schroeder
In November and December of the 2008-09 academic school year parents, students and employees of the Clay Community School Corporation were asked to fill out anonymous surveys that pertained to the climate of their respective school as well as keeping sixth-graders at North Clay Middle School.

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.

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I was one of the parents selected for an interview at East Side Elementary School. This story and report does not reflect the concerns of staff and parents that were expressed during that interview. When will the community stop giving the CCSC a free pass when it comes to the policies they enforce in our schools.

-- Posted by shoman95 on Wed, Jun 10, 2009, at 9:54 AM

Perhaps your opinion differed from others interviewed. In what ways do you feel the report is in error?

-- Posted by littletad on Wed, Jun 10, 2009, at 2:43 PM

I was there at board meeting when the results of this survey was presented. I also got a copy of it while there.

While what is reported here is true, there was a lot more to the report.

What I especially took away was that the climate and culture were two separate issues. the the CLIMATE was good, the CULTURE had to be worked on AND while the building support and parental support was good there was a perception that the buildings needed more support from central office and board.

The climate was how good people felt about being at their work place [and school in case of the students and parents]. The culture was how education and the importance of it and how imposing policy evenhandedly across corporation was enforced.

That's what I took away from it anyhow.

Alot more could be done from top on down to building level to make sure things were being done equitably through out corporation and to make sure that all placed due importance on same both within and outside of those employed by corporation.

Anyone else actually there or read the full report besides me who was not employee of corporation? I sure would like to get their take on it. Dr Gruenert was good and also tactful but specific about the support from top to various buildings as well as consistency.

So yes he did say those things in article but there is the REST OF THE STORY.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Jun 10, 2009, at 5:35 PM

OH PLEASE. It does absolutely no good to complain when your child is being mistreated. When a teacher is protected by the union you may as well hang it up. Or tenure makes it impossible.

Plus the classified staff is paid at poverty level and below. I don't see our greedy teachers trying to get raises for them.

My time in the school corp. as an employee I saw and experienced discrimination, unfair labor practices, saw kids slammed into lockers by the staff. Staff using profane language around and too students. Principals abusing staff with profanities and discrimination.

Complain and it goes directly to the dead file. That is why I got out of there and grateful my kids no longer attend.

I get sick when parents think teachers are on a moral high ground. Wake up call people--they are as depraved as the next person. Stay alert. Morals start at home--not at school.

-- Posted by angelinbluejeans on Mon, Jun 15, 2009, at 10:10 PM

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