Hamilton County Schools reaching out to community in new survey

Hamilton County Schools reaching out to community in new survey

December 14th, 2017 by Meghan Mangrum in Local Regional News

Hamilton County Department of Education Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson, lower left, listens to a group of 10 transition team members during a working lunch to discuss ideas to improve the county's schools.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Online survey

To take the survey in English, click here. For the Spanish version, click here.

Superintendent Bryan Johnson's transition team wants to know what you think about Hamilton County's public schools.

Less than four months after Johnson named a community transition team to assist in the leadership change in the Hamilton County Department of Education, the district has launched a survey to gather the thoughts and opinions of community members.

The team — which includes local business leaders, community members, national experts and department personnel — was charged with developing a new strategic plan for the system. Its members are focused on five key areas: student achievement, postsecondary readiness, talent development, organizational efficiency and communications, and stakeholder engagement.

The survey, launched Tuesday, asks questions ranging from topics such as teacher recruitment and where participants receive information on workforce opportunities to their satisfaction with teachers at their zoned schools and what recommendations they would make to improve their school.

"Information provided by parents, students, teachers, principals, central office staff and the community will be vital in providing opportunities essential for the successful future of Hamilton County's children," according to a news release from the district.

The survey is available online (a Spanish-language version also is available) and the district has a strategic plan for disseminating the survey.

School principals will ensure staff and students receive the survey, and the survey information will be provided to parents. District officials also plan on sharing it with churches and community groups to ensure a diverse participant pool, said Tim Hensley, Hamilton County Schools spokesman.

"That is the difficult thing — it's always fairly easy to work with our students and staff because they are here and we can reach them," Hensley said. "We're using the school-parent connection to get it out to parents and we will visit churches and community groups, especially to get out communities represented to get the diversity we need."

The 38-member transition team was given eight weeks in early September to create the vision for the district's strategic plan, but a strategic plan has not been released.

The survey, originally announced to close on Dec. 19, will remain open through the end of the year in order for the district to gather as many voices as possible, Hensley said.

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.


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