A Community Needs Assessment for the Perry Community School District
Schnicker, John H.
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The problem. The purpose of this study was to identify the major educational needs of the Perry Community School District as perceived by parents, teachers, students, and other community patrons, thereby assisting the Board and administration in making changes in the schools' programs necessary to meet those needs and aspirations of the people of the community. Procedure. The community meeting technique was employed to determine the reactions by parents, teachers, students, and other community patrons. At the community meeting participants were asked to rate the importance of eighteen educational goals. Participants were then placed in groups of four and each group was required to obtain group consensus on the rating of each goal. Finally, individual participants were asked to rate the schools' performance in meeting each of the eighteen goals. The results were analyzed by computing the mean and variance of the group consensus ratings of each goal. Also computed for each goal were the median of the individual performance ratings, the relative percentages of responses for each of five rating categories used, and the median performance rating of each goal for each of the different subpopulations. Findings and Conclusions. The immediate purpose of this study was to identify the major educational goals and needs of the school district and to obtain community perceptions of how well present school programs are doing in meeting those goals. Sixty-seven people participated in the community meeting. The goals ranked most important by the participants centered around developing the basic skills of written and oral communication, gaining a general education, and developing a desire for learning. These goals received average ratings of 4.471, 4.235, and 3.941 respectively on a fivepoint scale with five the highest possible score. Community members are in agreement regarding the importance of the educational goals and are generally satisfied that present school programs are meeting their expectations in achieving those goals. There are virtually no discrepancies between present school programs and those desired by the community. Recommendations. The results of this study can be helpful to the Board in making those decisions for allocating resources and initiating programs and may serve as indicators as to what kinds of Board decisions will or will not receive public support.
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