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Survey results: Dist. 518 leaders

WORTHINGTON -- More than one third of those responding to District 518's Administrators/Directors/Coordinator Survey were teachers, according to a results summary distributed at the district's Tuesday school board meeting. The evaluated group scored best in the area of organization and worst in motivational abilities.

The online survey was available in April and allowed parents, teachers and other community members to evaluate 16 individuals in the district -- principals and coordinators among them -- on the basis of communication, effectiveness, leadership and performance on general responsibilities.

About 860 people responded to the survey, with a few duplicates; most respondents were associated with Prairie Elementary or the high school. Among the groups completing the survey were teachers (38 percent of respondents), administrators (16 percent) and parents (14 percent).

Each respondent had the opportunity to evaluate one, several or all individuals with whom they had "past working relationships or experience." Among the most-evaluated were Prairie Elementary Principal Paul Besel and Director of Special Programs Tricia Denzer.

Those evaluated will use their individual results to develop a self-improvement plan in coming weeks.

"They set goals and I will review them with them," said Superintendent John Landgaard. "We may have some people who need to look at things and say 'What am I doing?' 'What do I need to change?' and some people were doing very well and that was reflected in their survey."

The individuals -- with their scores taken as a group -- earned a passing mark in all four areas, with an average of 59 percent of respondents giving them an overall average ranking of three or four. Rankings of one through four were given for statements within each category; a three or four indicated the individual performed above average in the area described.

Making adjustments for those who did not respond to each statement, the staff fared best in the area of effectiveness. On average, 61 percent of respondents ranked the individuals a three or four. Sixty-four percent said they had better-than-average organizational skills and worked cooperatively with staff.

The group scored lowest in the areas of communication and leadership, earning three or four rankings from an average of 57 percent of participants. In the leadership category, 51 percent of respondents gave the group above-average ratings for their ability to motivate.

An average of 60 percent gave the group high ratings in the general responsibilities category.

Landgaard said the district will consider repeating and expanding the survey in the coming years.