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Triad releases parent and staff survey results

By Pat Pratt

Triad Board of Education met Monday, approving results from a recent community engagement survey, an agreement with Madison County Career and Technical Education System and several upcoming overnight student trips. 

The district in January conducted a survey which garnered 559 responses from parents among the combined schools which make up Triad CUSD No. 2. In a separate survey, about 200 staff members were also polled on similar topics.  

Topics in both surveys focused on academic success, communication and school safety and operational integrity and transparency. 

On the topic of communication and school safety, survey results show 95% of parents do feel their child is safe during the school day at Triad. Asked if they felt welcome at their child’s school, 75% of parents agreed they did and 17.9 percent somewhat agreed for a total of just under 93%. The remaining percentages either disagreed or had not visited their child’s school. 

Parents felt arrival time and the school day itself were the safest times for students and the bus ride and after-school activities were the least safe. Staff also responded that arrival time and the school day itself were when they felt most safe and by a more narrow margin that dismissal and after school were less safe.

Parents were also asked if there should be a law enforcement officer at their child’s building, of which 96.8 percent replied yes. Staff were also asked this question and 95.8% responded there should be a school resource officer. 

Only 53% of parents were aware the distinct had an online form to report bullying or harassment. Staff were not polled on that, but rather did they feel comfortable knowing what to do if such an incident is reported and 93% responded they did. 

Overall in the area of safety, 67.4% of parents agreed the facilities and campus of their child’s school met their expectations for safety and security and another 27.4% somewhat agreed, a total of 94.8%. Asked nearly the same question, 58.5% of staff agreed their schools were safe and 35.8% somewhat agreed for a total of 94.3%. 

Academic success in the survey was broken into sections for elementary (K-5) respondents and secondary (6-12) respondents and again offered separate surveys for parents and staff. Both were given academic priorities and asked to rank them on a scale of one to six, with a ranking of one as most important and a ranking of six less important.  

Elementary parents, of which 338 were surveyed, felt the most important priority should be offering more gifted services. That was followed by adding more before and after-school fine arts programs, ensuring alignment with state standards offering more support for struggling students, more support for mental health and focusing on core curriculum subjects. 

Ninety-one elementary staff responded to academic success questions in the survey, also ranking additional gifted and fine arts and priorities. Staff placed a greater emphasis on alignment with state standards, but were also inline with parents in offering emotional and mental health support and focusing on core subjects. 

Secondary student parents were more focused on college readiness. Of their 209 responses, the most important were offering extra-curricular activities, offering additional dual-credit classes and offering additional college and career transition assistance. Additional mental health support, additional electives and a focus on core subjects followed. 

Secondary staff responses, which totaled 121, mostly mirrored parents on every priority in the academics section of the survey. 

In the operational integrity and transparency section, parents were asked what upgrades or additions they would like to see in the future. The No. 1 response was an updated and/or expanded cafeteria at Triad Middle School. That was followed by updated or expanded vocational classrooms at the high school and additional classroom space at the middle school. 

Parents also listed as priorities update playgrounds at elementary schools and updated media centers districtwide. An auditorium and updated athletic facilities at the high school also ranked high among parents. 

In their survey, staff mostly agreed with those priorities but put elementary playground space as the No. 1 priority, classroom space and a revamped cafeteria at Triad Middle School as the second and third improvement to be considered.  

Overall, 94.4% of parents either agreed or somewhat agreed school facilities met their expectations for cleanliness and maintenance. Responses show 38.8% staff members agreed and 37.7% somewhat agreed, with 16% of staff somewhat disagreeing and 7.5% disagreeing facilities met their expectations.  

In other news from the meeting, board members approved the Intergovernmental Agreement Resolution with Madison County Career and Technical Education System. The district has worked with the system since the 1980s, however this year was asked to approve an updated agreement. The agreement broadly sets forth general provisions such as membership requirements, governance of the program, what programs are offered and finances. 

Board members approved a motion to offer families the option to purchase student accident insurance. The policies are voluntary and offered by 1st Agency and underwritten by Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company. Members also approved renewal of Catastrophic Insurance Renewal through AIG for the 2023-2024 School Year.

Board members also approved overnight trips for the debate team on March 10-11 to Illinois Debate Community NJV State Championship in Palatine and March 16-18 to IHSA State Championship in Bloomington. 

A Triad High School Choral Department trip April 21-23 to Branson, Missouri was approved. A boys and girls track and field teams’ trip March 31 and April 1 to Calloway County, Kentucky to participate in the Calloway County, KY Laker Outdoor Invitational was also approved. 

The next meeting of the Triad Board of Education is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 27 at the Administration Building, 203 E. Throp Street in Troy. 


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