SUMMER ISN’T USUALLY THE time for report cards, but the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah School District just got one – and it was a good one.
Indeed, it was good enough to land them on the honor roll, if there was one for school districts.
The district conducted a School Perceptions study of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah district residents recently and District Superintendent Dr. Ann Buechel Haack shared the results with the School Board last month.
Across a broad range of questions and topics, a strong majority of respondents gave the district positive ratings, with around 85 percent responding “great” or “good” to the overall question of how the district is doing.
That included favorable marks for whether “My child’s school has high academic expectations that challenge my child,” “My child has a positive relationship with at least one adult at school,” “I am satisfied with the communication regarding my child’s progress and learning,” “My child feels safe at school” and “All things considered, I’m satisfied with the school.”
Those are expectations all of us – and especially the parents of children in the school system – would have of our local public schools.
That Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah scored so highly in all those areas from their constituents and the people they serve is a strong endorsement indeed of the commitment to quality education at every level of the district, from all administrators, teachers and support staff.
The survey also gauged support for a possible referendum that would allow the district to borrow for a number of proposed projects.
With such a positive assessment of how the district is performing reflected in the survey, it was also heartening to see support for the district’s plans to upgrade facilities.
The specific projects – updating lighting and bleachers at the football/soccer field, updating the high school auditorium, and renovating the culinary arts classroom and lab – all got support from a majority of respondents, at levels from just over half to two-thirds in favor.
Like many other districts, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah often finds itself hard-pressed to fund not only the everyday educational costs but also the long-term maintenance and upgrades needed to maintain the quality of education.
It is especially a challenge for smaller districts like Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, which serves a small population base that can not always easily absorb all of the costs of public education.
But that’s another area where the district has performed well in the past. It has borrowed carefully, for necessary projects, with the informed support of district residents. They have made sure not to overextend their credit and made due effort to pay off existing debt before burdening their taxpayers with any additional debt.
That has all added up to a small school district that finds ways to successfully provide the quality of education needed and demanded by all their constituents at an affordable cost for taxpayers.
That leads to exemplary report cards like the one the district just received. All that’s left to decide is who gets the free video rentals for the A’s on their report card.
Published in The Review August 3, 2018