Surveys Say Parents, Staff Happy with District

April 4, 2014 ~ Members of the Olathe Board of Education received a great deal of good news during their meeting April 3. The only presentation of the evening focused on results from the recent parent and staff surveys and revealed many strengths of the district.

Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski shared several positive indicators from the 2013-14 staff and parent surveys.

The staff survey, given in January, received responses from 3,220 employees (72 percent) and included questions about the Board of Education, the district as a whole, individual workplace, job satisfaction, and overall feelings.

When asked about their overall job satisfaction, 91.4 percent of employees who responded were very satisfied or satisfied. Staff indicated 96 percent are proud to work for the district.

Some other areas of strength include:

  • Students in the district are provided a high quality education – 97 percent
  • The district helps strengthen the community – 95.5 percent
  • Decisions by the Board of Education reflect their focus on student learning – 90.2 percent (up from 87.7 percent last year)
  • I have a safe and secure work environment – 92.7 percent (up from 91.9 percent last year)

More than 375 employees left 465 comments on the survey. There were 169 compliments, 261 concerns and 35 questions which were analyzed by district staff and building principals.

The parent survey, distributed in February, included questions that corresponded with national surveys, asked about satisfaction with the Board of Education, and touched on the parent's relationship with individual schools. More than 2,500 parents answered the survey.

More than 93 percent of respondents gave an A or B grade to the district as a whole, the school their oldest child attends, teachers, principals and administrators, and the Board of Education. In comparison, only 73 percent gave public schools nationally an A or B grade.

More than 90 percent of respondents agreed to the following statements:

  • The district compares well with neighboring school districts.
  • I am informed about the Olathe Public Schools.
  • The district maintains its facilities (buildings and grounds).
  • The district hires and retains quality staff.
  • I trust district staff to use the district's Guiding Principles.

Six hundred comments were left on the parent survey: 278 compliments, 344 concerns and 42 questions. They will be analyzed by district staff and building principals as well.

Recognitions:

  • The Olathe Evening Lions Club was recognized for its longtime support of the district.
  • Liberty Wheatley, a student at Pioneer Trail Middle School, is a national finalist for the Student Read 180 All-Star Award.
  • Liz Bogdan, a teacher at Pioneer Trail, is the district Read 180 Teacher of the Year.
  • Gayla Posch, a fourth-grade teacher at Tomahawk Elementary School, is the district's nominee for the Kansas Elementary Teacher of the Year award.
  • The Olathe North High School girls bowling team won the 6A state championship.
  • The Olathe Northwest High School Raven Dance Team was named National Dance Champions.
  • View photos from the meeting

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda including meeting minutes; reports; poverty guidelines, child nutrition and facilities performance standards plan; and two student trips.
  • Approved audit services ending June 30, the addition of Bank of America to the investment institutions list for fiscal year 2014, a permanent utility easement at Havencroft Elementary School, permanent drainage easements at Scarborough Elementary School and Olathe South High School, a temporary construction easement at Olathe South, and a permanent water line easement at Regency Place Elementary School.
  • Approved bids for football uniforms at Olathe Northwest, a food services delivery truck, white copy paper, Cisco network electronics, secure network cabinets, video production hardware, audio visual equipment, and HP laptop computers.
  • Approved bids for pool renovation at Frontier Trail Middle School; locker renovation in the locker rooms at Olathe East High School; gym painting at Olathe North; rooftop unit replacements at Olathe North, and Countryside, Havencroft and Washington elementary schools; seamless epoxy flooring at Olathe East; and a new diesel fuel commercial supply agreement.
  • Approved Millbrooke Elementary School playground equipment and installation, Millbrooke library collection, trade bids for elementary renovations, furniture bids for Millbrooke and elementary renovations, structural steel bids for elementary renovations, computer lab tables for elementary renovations, food service equipment bids, rooftop unit replacement for three buildings, and security cameras for elementary schools.
  • Approved advance payments for ePayable invoices for 2013-14. This includes recurring payment categories that can be paid to vendors by virtual credit card rather than paper checks and offers a more secure payment option, cost savings and increased efficiency. The district also earns rebate revenue for ePayable payments.
  • Approved a recommendation to keep school board elections in the spring.
  • Approved two student trips.
  • Received information about future action items including a land lease agreement with Verizon Wireless, Kansas Association of School Boards committee appointments, Head Start work plans, technology plan, detention basin bids, facility rental fees for 2014-15, and a student trip.
  • Received the Head Start director's written monthly report, and a report on spring parent-teacher conferences.Held an executive session to discuss personnel and employer-employee negotiations.

The complete agenda and supporting documents are online at http://www.boarddocs.com/ks/olathe/Board.nsf/Public.

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