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Schools

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EACS gets high ratings in survey

Most East Allen County Schools parents, employees, students and community members who responded to a survey like the direction the district is heading and believe students are receiving a good education, the superintendent said Tuesday. School board members heard a presentation about an online survey conducted by the district that received several hundred responses from parents, teachers, taxpayers, students, employees and others in the community. The survey, which was available on the district’s website during January, asked responders 15 questions about topics such as school safety, transportation, district leaders’ responsiveness and communication, the use of technology and about the quality of academic programs. “Out of all of the questions, we had over 70 percent of the responders agreeing or strongly agreeing with the questions about things we are doing right,” Superintendent Ken Folks said. Overall, the majority of responders said they are happy with the direction the district is heading, although some said they would like to see improvements in academics, transportation and opportunities for students. When asked whether they are satisfied with the district, 17.6 percent said they strongly agree, and 55.7 percent said they agree; 24.2 percent said they disagree or strongly disagree, according to the survey. When asked whether children feel safe in EACS schools, 87.9 percent voted in the affirmative, and 10.2 percent said they did not think students felt safe. And when asked whether the quality of academic programs sets high expectations for student achievement, 71.7 percent said they agree or strongly agree, while 25.4 percent said they disagree or strongly disagree. For all three of those questions, the remaining respondents said more information was needed before a response could be given. According to the data, 114 participants were reporting about Leo Junior-Senior High School, and 70 responded about Leo Elementary School. The smallest number of participants reported about Paul Harding Junior High, EACS Choice Alternative classes and the Park Hill Learning Center, with two responses from each. Board members asked Folks to have details of the survey separated by school to better evaluate where changes are needed. The results of the survey will be posted on the district’s website, www.eacs.k12.in.us.

Safety procedures

School board members unanimously approved a $12,000 contract to begin training EACS staff safety procedures through the ALICE Training Institute. ALICE is an acronym that represents an alternative way of responding to a crisis through five concepts: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. The program is available through the Medina, Ohio-based ALICE Training Institute and provides tools and strategies on how individuals can respond to potentially dangerous situations. Folks said the district will begin training April 7 and 8. The training costs $495 a person, but since the district will be training more than 25 people, it was eligible to host the two-day program and will be able to invite 55 to 60 people for the cost of $12,000, Folks explained. jcrothers@jg.net

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