School board survey response paltry

Apr. 09, 2013 @ 07:09 PM

Few Vance County parents bothered to respond to a March 12 telephone survey about the schools their children attend.

A report on the survey, presented to the board of education at its meeting Monday night, showed 210 responses from over 7,000 telephone numbers dialed by the school district’s Blackboard Connect 5 notification system.

“I am discouraged,” said Terri Hedrick, the district’s public information officer. “We try to get their input, and then they don’t participate.”

Conducted by the board’s business and community relations committee, the survey asked parents if the school has a supportive learning environment, provides a quality educational program and enforces discipline. The survey also asked if parents feel welcome to visit the school at any time and if their views are seriously considered when school decisions are made.

The report indicated the results, while representing a small number of parents of students, show an overall positive view of the schools.

Even among the few responders, about 82 percent said their children were provided a quality education. About 69 percent said their schools enforce discipline and about 58 percent said their views were considered in school decisions. The survey got only four and two responses from Aycock and L.B. Yancey elementary schools calls, respectively, and only two from Western Vance High School.

The larest number of responses came from two high schools and a middle school. Responses from Northern Vance and Southern Vance high schools calls totalled 26, and 27 responses came from Eaton-Johnson Middle School calls.

Parents were advised ahead of time about the five-question survey, Hedrick said. Calls were made at 7 p.m. and questions required only “yes” and “no” answers.

“We can still get an idea from the few,” Hedrick said. The survey is in its third year, and Hedrick said responses were not as good as last year.

In other business, the board adopted a 2013-14 academic calendars for county schools and the early college program.

The board also approved an April 25-26 field trip for the Northern Vance High School AP Environmental Science and Oceanography Class to the Duke Marine Lab for a trawl and dredge trip, the Rachel Carson Preserve Study and the N.C. Aquarium.

Before the meeting the Henderson Middle School Jazz Band entertained for the board, staff and audience.

Contact the writer at news@hendersondispatch.com.