Survey results show concerns of students, teachers and parents

The school board got a glimpse of what students, parents and teachers think about schools in the Rock Hill district when it was presented with the annual school climate report Monday.

The report is based on a survey given to teachers, fifth-, eighth- and 11th-grade students and 15 percent of parents, who were randomly selected.

In all, 1,015 teachers and staff, 1,397 parents and 2,281 students responded.

Many responses were positive. The district got high marks for safety, attendance at teacher conferences, general school climate and social and physical environments.

But other areas were a little more troublesome.

One area of concern was that only 68.6 percent of students report that students and teachers get along well at school.

Board Chairman Bob Norwood suggested the district might want to study why that is a problem area for so many people.

Only 67.2 percent of students said they believe they can do good work.

"We need to challenge them as much as possible and give them the resources to achieve what they need to achieve," said Keith Wilks, executive director of student services.

Wilks said individual schools will have to work to increase the number of students who feel connected to their schools and who think there are good relationships between students and teachers.

Here's a look at some of the report's other findings:

• 94 percent of teachers reported that they work together to achieve instructional goals and collaborate to accomplish tasks.

• 88.8 percent of teachers said computers are used effectively for instruction.

• 81.4 percent of fifth- and eighth-grade students and 86.2 percent of 11th-grade students said class work is challenging.

• 62.1 percent of parents said teachers tell them how to help their children learn.

• 91.2 percent of parents reported that their child's school sets high expectations for learning.

• 80.9 percent of parents said teachers provide help when it's needed.

Ninth grade had the highest percentage of high school students who failed one or more classes because of absences, and 12th grade had the least.

The district still is compiling information on school suspensions, dropout rates and expulsions. That information will be presented at the board's next meeting.

Other business on the school board's agenda included recognizing various accomplish- ments.

Belleview and Old Pointe elementary schools were presented with red carpets to display in their schools.

The carpets signify the state's recognition of the schools as among the most inviting. Twenty-one of the district's schools now have the distinction.

The district's teachers of the year were honored, and several school board members were recognized for their training at the Boardmanship Institute sponsored by the S.C. School Boards Association.