A request for community input during the month of November yielded good reviews of Hermiston School District from the majority of respondents.

“Overall the results were pretty positive,” Superintendent Dr. Fred Maiocco said. “People are feeling good about the safety and security of our schools.”

The online survey drew 244 respondents. Roughly three quarters described themselves as district employees and 18 percent said they were parents of children in the district.

The first half of the survey dealt with the school district as a whole. A total of 92 percent said they were either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with the appearance and cleanliness of Hermiston schools, 86 percent were satisfied with safety and security and 75 percent were satisfied that courses offered are challenging to all students.

The survey also asked about specific district initiatives. Maiocco said the strongest response was in favor of the district adding more career technical education classes such as construction and public health — more than 93 percent of respondents were in favor.

“The community was sounding off that they want to see more of those,” Maiocco said.

The idea with the least approval was adding more foreign languages to the curriculum besides Spanish. Only 69 percent of respondents were in favor of the move.

The second half of the survey appraised Maiocco’s performance as superintendent. Overall, 67 percent said they were confident in the direction Maiocco is leading the district, while another 17 percent said they were neutral. Maiocco received the highest marks for having high expectations for student learning at 88 percent and the lowest marks in accessibility at 59 percent.

When asked about Maiocco’s strengths and weaknesses, the most respondents said his biggest strengths were visionary leadership and organizational management. On the flip side, 52 percent of respondents said his interpersonal skills needed the most improvement.

“That’s very helpful, to know I need to cue to that,” Maiocco said. “I appreciate that (feedback) very much.”

In addition to the survey, Maiocco and school board chair Karen Sherman held a series of community input meetings. Maiocco said those were sparsely attended but he and Sherman did reach about 40 additional people when they gave the same presentation and listened to feedback at the Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting.

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Contact Jade McDowell at jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4536.

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