District To Get Surveys

NEW BREMEN — District residents will soon find a survey in their mailbox for feedback about their feelings about the New Bremen Local School District and the school levy voters turned down in March.

“We agreed to do the community survey at the March meeting,” Interim Superintendent John Basinger said during Wednesday’s board of education meeting. “Since that time, a couple of board members and some administrators have met with the fellow who organized the survey. He talked about how we should approach this whole thing and he presented a copy to us of what he proposed our survey to be.”

The questions on the survey, Basinger said, are straightforward.

“They are remarkably simple, straightforward questions,” he said, noting that a few small changes that are going to be made.

Basinger said residents will receive the survey and cover letter in the mail, in addition to a self-addressed envelope to turn in the results.

“There is a cover letter along with this survey that goes out to every resident,” Basinger said. “In the envelope will be a return envelope to somebody that we don’t know — it’s a business research company that does this type of thing. They will accumulate all of the responses, interpret them and evaluate them and tell us what all that means in a written report that we will receive back eventually.”

Basinger stressed the survey is anonymous.

“It’s not something that anybody us here at school will be doing,” he said. “It will be a completely anonymous survey. The details will be interpreted by a professional people who do this for a living.”

He noted that the results will be in by the June board meeting.

Basinger also updated board members on the progress made to fill the middle school and high school principal positions.

“For the two principal positions, we received 52 unique applications,” he said. “Some of those 52 people applied to both positions, so we had a total of 52, 17 applied for both positions, so that put us with 35 people we were considering for the middle school position and 34 people we were considering for the high school position.”

Basinger said he was surprised by the number of applicants.

“I was very pleased with those numbers. In today’s world that really surprised me,” he said. “I think it plays to the reputation that the district has.”

The pool of applicants has since been narrowed down.

“We took the pool of 35 and 34 respectively and paper screened it down to 16 applicants we were going to interview,” Basinger said. “We checked references on those 16 individuals and eliminated two more, so for the first round, we interviewed 14 candidates for two positions.”

After the first round of interviews, the pool was narrowed to three candidates for each position.

“The round two interviews will be a little more intense,” Basinger said. “We’re asking them to do a presentation on their local report card data of their respective buildings and we’re going to ask them some more situational questions.”

He noted that the next step will depend on how the candidates do in the second round of interviews and said the timeline for a final decision is still unclear.

Board members met in executive session to discuss employment. Board members voted to upgrade English teacher Sarah Hemmelgarn to a full-time employee from 0.75 when they reconvened in regular session.

In other business, board members:

• Heard a presentation from three first grade title I reading classes about what they have been doing with the iPads that were purchased for the class. Elementary school Principal Diane Kramer noted that the iPads have made learning fun for the students.

The next regular meeting of the New Bremen Board of Education will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 9 in the community room at the high school.