For the upcoming school year, Jefferson City residents are most concerned with facility improvements and student safety according to a survey released by the leaders of Jefferson City public schools.
460 residents have already completed the four-question survey, which was released earlier this week. The survey organizes town hall style meetings for residents to discuss the most important issues regarding Jefferson City public schools. David Luther, assistant to the superintendent, said survey-takers were primarily focused on facility needs for Jefferson City’s two high schools, but that the other schools in the district also need attention.
“We are seeing growth in our district," Luther explained, "even though it seems like an anomaly in some ways because our community is not growing at a tremendous pace."
Tami Turner, Vice President of the Jefferson City school board, echoed that claim and explained how important current decisions about facility needs will be in the future.
“We’ve got to determine where we are headed so we don’t fall behind in any area with our public educational system here in Jefferson City,” she said. “We want to provide the best public education that we possibly can to our students and our community.”
Jefferson City voters defeated an April referendum that would have approved the building of a new high school to replace the current one. Turner said this is part of the reason the district decided to create the new survey.
“It’s time for reflection,” she said. “It’s time for evaluation. And then we will hopefully come up with a new plan that the community will support.”
Luther said it is also no surprise the public has also placed a high priority on student safety and school security.
“If all things being equal and we were to ask that question and our high school was not a topic of discussion, safety and security is always going to be at the top of the list,” Luther explained. “It has to be.”
“It’s always our number one goal to keep to the kids safe,” said Turner.
No concrete ideas about how to improve facilities or safety have been decided yet, and Turner expects to get feedback from the community at the upcoming town hall meetings. Jefferson City public schools expect the first forum to take place in late August. The district’s survey is located on the Jefferson City public schools homepage and will remain open until the end of July.