Parents happy with Kennewick schools

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldMay 23, 2013 

More parents of graduating Kennewick seniors are saying they are happy with how their children's schools educated their kids and prepared them for the next phase of their lives.

The Kennewick School District saw improvement in every area of its senior parent survey, now in its second year, Assistant Superintendent Ron Williamson told the Kennewick School Board on Wednesday.

Most parents said their children received a well-rounded and challenging education, were properly told what they had to do to graduate and would be ready for college or a career.

Williamson said there always will be some who are dissatisfied and challenges that will prevent a child's educational experience from being flawless, but the district is meeting its goals.

"It is a pretty high standard to get 85 percent who are satisfied or very satisfied," he said.

More than 80 percent of the parents for this year's graduating class participated in the five-question survey, which covered topics from quality of education to availability of courses.

Districtwide, 85 percent or more of survey respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied on every question. The scores improved on four of the five questions asked, compared with last year's survey.

Parents from Phoenix High School, one of the district's alternative high schools, were the most likely to indicate they were only somewhat satisfied or not at all satisfied with their child's education.

However, almost all the high schools had elevated numbers of parents expressing some frustration with their child's high school courses.

Williamson said it would be difficult to eliminate all concerns. For example, it isn't always possible to accommodate requests for courses because they may not work with other scheduled classes a student is in. He said the district will work to maintain and improve the scores going forward.

Board Vice Chairwoman Heather Kintzley asked whether parents can give feedback on why they may not have been satisfied. Williamson said that is an option, but few offered those comments and most aren't specific enough to guide any action.

Also Wednesday:

-- Gerry Ringwood, director of Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick, will retire at the end of the school year. Williamson announced that Assistant Director Paul Randall has been selected to head the school.

-- Doug Carl, director of capital projects, said work is finishing up on Cascade Elementary School. The property is being landscaped and much of the building's interior is complete, though it has not yet been furnished.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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