HG schools survey draws positive feedback

by Steve Ottman
Review Correspondent

HOWARDS GROVE—The Howards Grove School District received favorable answers to a recent survey sent out to the area residents, townships and staff members.

A survey that was sent out in March and early April was discussed at the monthly school board meeting Monday.

Superintendent Chris Peterson discussed the results of the survey with the School Board and staff leaders of Northview, middle and high schools.

A total of 620 people responded, a response rate of 30 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

The school received highest percentage of completed surveys (52 percent) from those 34 to 52 years of age. Other age groups were also used in many of the questions asked in the survey.

Respondents were satisfied with school district’s academic offerings, facilities and competition with other school districts. Communications, facility planning and funding support also received satisfactory marks.

The survey also asked respondents their feelings about a possible $4.9 million referendum to fund technology education expansion, increase technology access and building a new auditorium.

Many of the questions showed favorable support of the referendum, with positive answers.

Peterson was very encouraged with the results and said that the 30 percent return was amongst the highest in the state for surveys that are sent out. There is still a lot of planning and meetings before a referendum proposal can move forward.

Election results and the board member oaths of office were given. New board member Kari Bramstedt was elected to replace outgoing board member Richard Hemb. Kim Plass was also reelected. Bramstedt and Plass were sworn in by board president Mark DeAmico.

The annual meeting was set for Monday, Sept. 19 in the high school library. The regular board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m., budget meeting at 7:30 and annual meeting at 8:00.

Plass was appointed to represent the school at the CESA 7 Convention May 11.

School board policies updates, including for conflict of interest, personal property and volunteers were approved.

A new policy on the use of seclusion and physical restraint with students was approved.

Board members approved staffing and issuance of teacher contracts for the 2016-2017 school year. There will be a half-time increase of staffing in kindergarten classes.

Peterson discussed consideration of the snow make up day May 27 for the recent school cancellation. Students would not be required to make the day because they have met the state mandate of hours of instruction required for the school year. Staff members would be required to make up the day as structured time.

An amendment was approved to move funds around to cover insurance increases and payroll.

Peterson stated that open enrollment has shown an increase of 15 students so far for the next school year.

Retiring board member Hemb was thanked by DeAmico and Peterson for his many years of service to the school district.

DeAmico also thanked the PTO for a donation to the band program for the purchase of a French horn.

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