2009-05-16 / Sports

More Sports, Less Strife Suggested for School

Community Polled
By Karen Gould

Building a stage and sound system, providing after-school tutoring, offering more healthy lunch options, providing a wider variety of sports, and additional art, music, and drama opportunities, and reducing the tensions between staff and administrators would make Mackinac Island Public School better, say community members and students.

Their comments were made in a survey conducted by the School Improvement Committee and reported to the school board at its meeting Thursday, April 23.

By fall, the committee will make recommendations from the survey to the school board, said committee chair Paul Wandrie, but it does not plan to meet again until August.

Of the 225 surveys mailed to parents and community members, 34 surveys were completed. Students in sixth through 12th grades submitted another 39 surveys.

Although written comments were optional, many respondents added them, said committee member Urvana Morse, who presented the results.

The survey solicited comments about infrastructure, instruction, library books, technology, the school lunch program, sports, needed materials, courses, and the "coffee with the superintendent" program.

Concerning school infrastructure, which includes building, grounds, and maintenance, 11 people said school cleaning needs to be improved. Five people said they had concerns about ice in the front of the building and on the hill leading to the side door and playground area.

Under instructional services, of the 24 comments received from students and parents, all wanted the school to offer afterschool tutoring.

Most respondents to the library questions asked for a greater variety of books and more material oriented to high school students.

Seven of 12 comments about school technology said the respondents were satisfied with the technology available to students.

Less fried food, less processed food, and more healthy options are needed on the lunch menu, was the consensus of 20 respondents, but the salad bar is successful and some said they would like it to be expanded.

About 29 survey comments called for more variety in athletic programs, particularly for middle school students. Responders said they would like to see programs in football, tennis, and baseball.

If funding were available, survey respondents suggested the school needs a stage with a sound system.

Art and music courses are needed to go along with drama and a foreign language, some said. Auto repair and home economics classes also made the wish list.

A question on the survey asked if more people would attend school board meetings if child care was provided. Out of 22 comments, only four said child care would make a difference for them.

Under additional comments, the need for more music, art, and drama generated the most comments. Coming in second was a concern over strife among teachers, staff, administration, and the school board.

For a proposed program that would allow residents to discuss school issues over coffee with Superintendent Roger Schrock, respondents said they prefer an evening schedule, rather than during the day.

School Improvement Committee members include Mr. Wandrie, Dr. Schrock, school board member Larry Rickley, student Shelbie Mosley, teacher Susan Bennett, and parents Jack Armstrong, Erin Beck, Wendy Nicewander, Craig Bunker, and Urvana Morse.

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