(Posted Feb. 15, 2016)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
Jonathan Alder students say they will go to college. Parents say they want more help from the school to get their children on their way.
Those were among the responses to a survey the school conducted in November. Results were shared at the Feb. 8 school board meeting.
Dawn Anderson-Butcher, Ph.D., from the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University, said the results could be used to inform planning in the district.
Taking the survey were 840 students in grades seven through 12, 775 students in grades two through six; 1,043 parents or caregivers; and 101 teachers and staff.
As many as 93 percent of elementary students and 83 percent of secondary students indicated they would attend college, but only 64 percent of the parents said they know how to get help to pay for the child’s college education.
Much of the survey dealt with non-academic issues, such as opportunities for involvement in activities and where and how to get and give health and social services.
While most of the elementary students said they like coming to school, that same question drew a favorable response from only 41 percent of secondary students. A vast number of students at both levels said they would go to a teacher for help if they needed it, but that number fell at the secondary level when students were asked if they were able to get help from a teacher when they had a problem.
The survey also showed that 64 percent of parents go to parent-teacher conferences, 58 percent attend school performances and 48 percent go to athletic events. A large number of students said parents ask them about their school day, and elementary students said they get help from parents with homework. However, just over half of secondary students said they receive help from parents.
Teachers and staff said a learning support system is in place but that methods are needed for early identification of and action on issues.
The survey was undertaken with assistance from the Jonathan Alder Community Support Coalition, formed a year ago to identify resources in the community.
“Strengths should be celebrated. Priorities for improvement should be identified,” Anderson-Butcher said as she led the board and the audience through survey results.
The board approved a trip to Phila-dephia and New York Nov. 22-27 for the vocal and instrumental music programs.
“The band travels every four years and the choir every three years,” said band director Justin Hennig. “This is the year we both go.” Ann Gorman is the vocal music teacher.
The band will participate in the Thanksgiving parade in Philadelphia, which Hennig said is the oldest such parade in the nation.
“Once you perform, you strengthen your credentials,” he said. The choir will perform in New York
Students are raising the funds neces-sary to cover trip expenses. Board member Steve Votaw asked how the students who cannot go on the trip will benefit.
“They’re all learning the numbers together,” Gorman said. “Everyone deserves the experience.”