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Student Gallup Poll Results Shared With School Board

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Emmetsburg Middle School students recently participated in a Gallup Poll about their thoughts on their lives. Those results were shared with the Emmetsburg Community School Board during the December Board meeting Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Middle School Principal Tracie Christensen updated the board members on the results of the survey, which consisted of 24 questions.

“We have 241 Middle Schoolers that we gave the poll questions to, and 212 students actually took the poll and completed all the questions,”?Christensen explained. “The poll asked students questions designed to measure their engagement, hope, their entrepreneurial aspirations and their thoughts on career literacy. The results are quite revealing.”

According to the poll’s results, Engagement, or the student’s involvement and enthusiasm for school, showed that 63 percent of students felt they were engaged, while 28 percent said they were not engaged. Just nine percent of the students were actively disengaged.

The poll results also examined students’ hopes, or the ideas and energy that students have for the future in general. Those results showed 56 percent of students were hopeful, while 29 percent admitted they were “stuck”, or not really sure of their future plans and 15 percent were honestly discouraged over the future.

“These results give us an idea of how we’re meeting the needs of our students,”?Christensen said, “They help identify areas that we can look at for improvement, or perhaps target more specific things in our curriculum. This is the first time we’ve taken this poll and it is very useful.”

The board also learned that West Elementary had received the latest report of the Iowa School Report Card.

“The overall rating for West Elementary is not where we would like it to be,”?noted West Elementary Principal Joe Carter. “We were one-point away from an Acceptable Rating.”

However, Carter went on to note that West Elementary’s scores had improved significantly from the 2016 Report Card.

“We are up in Combined Math and Reading, Math and Reading,”?Carter noted.

In 2016, the Combined Math and Reading proficiency was 67.9 percent proficiency. In 2017, the proficiency rose to 74.2 percent. In the area of Math, the 2016 proficiency was 67.9 percent and this year, had risen to 75.8 percent proficiency. For Reading, the 2016 level was 67.9, and for 2017, proficiency had risen to 72.5 percent.

“We are excited about our growth, and yet we are looking forward to continuing to improve our efforts to see our scores continue to improve.”

The High School report submitted by Principal Mike Embrock welcomed the new Vocational Agriculture instructor, Kory Kuecker, to the district when the second semester begins on Jan. 4. Kuecker is an Algona High School graduate who recently graduated from South Dakota State University. Kuecker is also assisting with the E-Hawk Varsity Wrestling program this season.

Superintendent Amanda Schmidt brought three funding requests to the board for consideration. The first, a Modified Allowable Growth request for Dropout Prevention was in the amount of $34,376 to the state School Board Review Committee.

“This application is for additional funding to reflect the enrollment from last year for our Dropout Prevention program,”?Schmidt explained. “I would recommend your approval of this application.”

The board approved the application on a 5-0 vote, with Board members Pete Hamilton and Dan Chism absent and not voting.

Schmidt then shared a English Language Learning program funding request to the SBRC in the amount of $6,108.30, to account for enrollment changes in and out and program costs. The application was also approved on a 5-0 vote.

Finally, Schmidt presented an application for reimbursement for Open Enrollment out funding in the amount of $13,841.10, with the application also being approved on a 5-0 vote.

In a personnel matter, the board approved issuance of a contract to Emily Jobst for 9th Grade Softball for the 2018 season. The contract was approved on a 5;0 vote, with Hamilton and Chism absent and not voting.

The January 2018 School Board Meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in the High School Library.