The general consensus from Hermiston School District employees and community members is Hermiston schools are clean, safe and offer challenging courses for students, according to a recent survey.

The district released a Superintendent 360 survey at the beginning of November, seeking feedback and comments from students, parents and community and staff members on topics such as school cleanliness and appearance, safety, current course offerings, schedule changes that occurred this year and how inviting the schools are to parents and the community.

Superintendent Fred Maiocco said the goal of the survey was to gain insight from community members about the district’s direction, which will help set the district’s future. He said participation in the survey was down from previous years, however.

The district received 244 survey responses as opposed to more than 300 from previous years. Community member participation was also down as more than 88 percent of the responders were district employees.

“I wish we could have had additional folks and additional commentary,” Maiocco said.

Despite the low participation numbers, Maiocco said he feels the feedback received from the survey was positive and he will be using the information to help guide leadership in the district.

The breakdown of the survey results are as follow:

— Cleanliness and appearance of Hermiston schools: 91.8 percent satisfied

— Safety and security of Hermiston schools: 86.25 percent satisfied

— Current course offerings are challenging for all students: 75.42 percent satisfied

— Hermiston schools are open and inviting: 88.8 percent satisfied

— In favor of offering additional career and technical courses: 93.8 percent

— In favor of offering additional world language courses: 69.3 percent

— In favor of school schedule changes this year: 75.7 percent

Maiocco said a number of people provided feedback with additional comments, and the main focus of those addressed adding more career and technical education courses.

“There was very strong support to expand the (Career and Technical Education) offerings,” he said.

Maiocco said many people were also more in favor of the late start and early release schedule changes the district implemented this year than he was expecting.

“I thought, for a first-year implementation, that was pretty strong, much stronger than I was expecting,” he said. The survey also allowed people to rate Maiocco on his leadership, his expectations for learning and achievement, his accessibility and more.

More than 87 percent of respondents said Maiocco has high expectations for student learning and achievement, 74.5 percent agree he is focused on the improvement of instruction and 73.8 percent agree he fosters community support and partnerships to benefit the students of the district.

Approximately 73 percent also said Maiocco effectively manages the operations of the district, and 67 percent are confident in the direction that Maiocco is leading the district.

Many people, however, indicated Maiocco could improve his interpersonal relations.

Approximately 59 percent of the respondents feel he is accessible to students, staff, parents and community members.

More than 52 percent of individuals also thought that Maiocco’s interpersonal relations require continued growth and improvement.

“That was a little lower than I had wanted,” Maiocco said. “Some of the comments have encouraged me to offer additional community meetings. That is where I will be attending to.”

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