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Survey says students are happy at RHS

Rosemount High School students appear to be pretty happy with their school.

RHS administrators are getting a jump on planning for the 2009-10 school year. This year, that means giving students a chance to share their thoughts on life at RHS. Students took a survey in February that asked them to rate their academic challenges and their school environment, among other things. The results, administrators say, are mostly positive.

"I think we're generally pretty pleased," said assistant principal Tim Conboy. "Some of the areas we thought might be areas of concern, according to our survey results, appear not to be."

The survey, given during the school day, asked students to respond to 26 questions with a number from 1 (strongly disagree) to 4 (strongly agree). In all, 1,700 students responded.

Conboy said administrators were particularly happy with responses to questions like, "I have a trusting relationship with at least one peer at RHS" (average response 3.67); "Most teachers are available for extra help if I ask for it" (3.24); and, "At least one adult that works at RHS knows and cares about me" (3.32).

The results weren't all so positive. Conboy said there are concerns about responses to questions about students' willingness to report classmates who are struggling with personal problems and about the need for supervision in some areas of the school.

The average response to the statement, "If my friend was in trouble, I would report the concern to an administrator, counselor or teacher" was only 2.7.

Conboy said administrators intentionally left vague the kind of trouble the question asked about. He said there are already plans to add an online system through which students can make anonymous reports. A similar system has gone over well at Eagan High School.

Most students said they feel safe at school, but there were concerns about teacher supervision in the parking lot, hallways, locker rooms and bathrooms.

Principal John Wollersheim said the survey, which the school gave for the first time this year, will help administrators as they make plans and set goals for next fall.

As happy as administrators are with the results they see room for improvement. Even if just one student reports he feels bullied at school, Wollersheim said, that's still one too many.

"I think we're very pleased with the results. But again, we want to be constantly improving," Conboy said. "We're going to take the areas that we think are the weaker areas and we're going to work with teams of teachers and students.

Administrators gave a similar survey to the school's teachers. That survey asked about morale, perceptions of the school and opportunities for teamwork among teachers, among other things.

For full results from the RHS student survey go to www.rosemounttownpages. com.