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Appendix C
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT STAFF SURVEY RESULTS
Demographic Data/Survey Questions
Narrative Comments

NARRATIVE COMMENTS

The following comments below reflect the perceptions and opinions of administrative and support staff survey respondents and do not reflect the findings or opinion of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts or the review team.

  • There is not much communication between aides and administrators. There is not much communication between staff and administration.
  • Insurance is only affordable to teachers, administrators and staff without families. Our support staff is required to be very knowledgeable, yet we're treated by administrators as if we were anyone they can pull of the street. Why in the world are we using tax dollars on students from another country who want free everything? They are living better then the ones who are paying the taxes!
  • I'm not just an employee, I also have a child in KISD. I, as a parent, feel that all of the kids are not treated the same. If you are in athletics you get what you need while the rest are swept under the rug. I also do not understand why they cut programs out of school, they hire more people in the central office. I feel KISD has been mismanaged.
  • Educational performance is getting lower each year. In my studied opinion, the motivation for learning has been removed from the classroom. This is due to lack of fear at being kept back as many years as needed to learn that year's material. The students KNOW they will be passed regardless of learning content. They are lackadaisical, lazy-minded and non-motivated. Fear of punishment (discipline is a strong motivation. This folderol about "social esteem" for passing incompetent students is illogical! We are fostering and promoting a dull and dumb future society.
  • No campus in KISD has security personnel. Campuses are open. People come and go as they please. Little effort is made to correct this problem. Little effort is made to train personnel. Training for teachers is sufficient. Training for support personnel is inadequate.
  • I think the district could find a better insurance policy if they would shop around. Instead of giving the superintendent and central office considerable pay raises, it should go to the teachers and support staff. They are the true educators.
  • Concerns about background checks on volunteers. How do we know who is spending time with our kids?
  • I see far too much waste on non-essentials and not enough spent on essentials. We need to perform our jobs to the best of our abilities.
  • The district provides an excellent education for the students of Kerrville. The teachers and principals are dedicated and competent and the facilities adequate. The primary problem in this district is disagreement between teachers and central office on budget issues and fiscal management. Most teachers feel the central office is over-staffed and over-paid whereas teachers are understaffed and under-paid. Despite fairly low teacher morale, the teachers have done a superb job of educating the students of KISD.
  • Outstanding school district.
  • KISD is a district that does NOT value its staff. This is especially true in the Spec. Ed department. It is a sad commentary when teachers have to scrape together their own funds to provide necessary supplies for students. We haven't been able to enhance our special needs students with field trips because of budget constraints. This is wrong. Good luck with quest to improve education in Kerrville.
  • We are too heavy. We have committees (dress code etc.) but the administration does what they want to. Admin makes getting supplies too complicated and timely. Too many workshops that cost too much money and are useless. Aides are treated and paid like second-rate people. Morale among all teachers is very low with no relief in sight. This school district used to be "The Best". Believe me we are in an "educational mess" and nowhere to turn because teachers will not write because of fear. Much talk goes on until it is time to speak "out!"
  • We have teachers at our high school that don't really teach but nothing gets done about them. Our district has two new schools under construction now but it's questionable how much the teacher input was considered when designing the facilities. The health insurance is way too costly for the lowest plan. There is too much of a jump between the lowest and next to lowest plan. Aides get on-the-job training. There should be an aide specific training before a new aide goes in the classroom. All students in middle school should be required to take a study skill class.
  • Teacher to student ratio is misleading. During the 2000-01 school year, an English teacher had a class of 37 students. This year another English teacher had a class of 31 freshmen and another of 14. KISD is an equal opportunity employment participant but they do not provide adequate facilities for their safety or performance. In 1999-2000, a wheel chair bound teacher had to leave one building and go across campus for restroom facilities. Several restrooms still do no meet new standards. Discipline is lacking. It takes two to three weeks before a student can serve time in OCS or Alternative School. In most cases administrators try to be fair, but there are time when their personal feelings and lives get in the way. For years, business people have complained about bills incurred by KISD not being paid in a timely manner. Students and sponsors have arrived at school for a field trip and found they did not have the money needed for traveling - the business office had failed to write a check. Class size for low performing students should be low! The schedule runs the class size not the needs for individual student. One teacher told me she would not mail her survey at school because she did not trust the administration. She also stated she had three more surveys from other teachers because they agreed with her.
  • KISD salary system is the worst I've come across in many years of working. The employee performance has nothing to do with salary increase or decrease. There is no incentive to do a good job.
  • From my standpoint, KISD does very well with the money and buildings it has. Employees are dedicated professionals who work well together. For the money and dollars spent Kerrville is getting a great bargain from KISD.
  • How can we provide a good education when due to the lack of maintenance personnel our schools are in much need of repairs? From shabby carpet to bad plumbing to air filters not being cleaned. Applications are few in Food Service and maintenance with no master plumber on staff ore heating and air persons either. With two new schools to open in fall of 2002 and 2003 I am very concerned about who will staff, clean and maintain these schools for our children.
  • Very hard to believe this district cares for our students or the taxpayer. I feel that many of our programs are not effective. Because of cuts, from needed money to staff. We do not hire qualified teachers. We hire the ones that will take less money. I am like a lot of people here. I can't stand another tax increase. I am being taxed out of my home. KISD never has money for anything except new central office personnel and consultants. Our children ride on school buses that are 20 years old and aging.
  • Due to lack of maintenance, our school is in bad need. We have shabby carpets. Vents need to be cleaned.
  • I am disappointed with the program that hires long term subs. I don't feel that they are given equal standing even though they may be fully qualified. Teacher aides are undervalued and underpaid! Schools should be willing to share unused supplies with each other to cut additional spending. Not enough people are informed about Emergency Certification.
  • At the high school level, there has always been a problem with the math department. Students that have been "A" students before are suddenly getting C's and not understanding their work. This even happens when children come to the high school from private school. The problem is only with the "Math" department.
  • As a master level support staff employee and having worked in other districts, I believe educational performance is sub-par for this district especially because high risk students' needs are not addressed by central office, discretionary discipline of students and employees is perpetuated, inadequate teachers/staff are not fired. There is disparity among AP and Pre-AP "teaching"; inadequate programs for staff-development (for these times....); and because what looks good on paper is not really taking place. I find school environments are inundated with harassment and victimization that is not being addressed properly. Alternative and on-campus suspensions are not assigned according to policy. Because of overcrowding, counseling services are inadequate for high-risk kids. Counselors are used for too much clerical work and should be only counseling.
  • In my opinion, instead of spending funds on new schools the money would have been better spent on repairs- all the schools need repair and basic maintenance - $600,000 to correct a mold problem on a high school building still under construction seems quite high to me. I feel it is a misuse of bond money to purchase land for elementary school then sell part of it for homes. I have worked in several school districts both poor and wealth, this is the first one in which I have to pay for my insurance.
  • As long as we have bad politics, our education system will continue to FAIL!
  • I feel that the superintendent is not honest. If that is not the case - circumstances have pointed to many people that there is a breakdown in communication. There is a committee in place for communication purposes but the responses are not clear or believable. The school board is easily misled in the direction only the superintendent has in mind. The morale is extremely low on the campuses.
  • I believe the elementary schools are strong but we lack in the middle and high schools what is needed for our students.
  • In the past nine years of employment with KISD, I find that my take home pay is only $153 a month more than when I started work in 1993. The increase in healthcare premiums is part of the problem. I am terribly unhappy with our healthcare, and will probably change carriers this September. Discipline is a major problem and lack of adequate coverage during recess and in the cafeteria.
  • I know for a fact on at least two occasions the first semester of this school year, the sub for high school classes did not show up and the students were left unattended for the 90-minute class period.
  • We need to do more to address at-risk learners. Truancy and apathy seem to be the most difficult problems to overcome. These students are traditionally assigned to alternative school and eventually drop out. Perhaps we need to do more to prepare students for a vocation when academics are repeatedly avoided. Many average students seem to fall through the cracks.
  • The quality of transporting and equipment needs upgrading!
  • Working in Kerrville ISD has been very rewarding and satisfying experience for me. I have always been proud to say I am an employee of KISD. For the most part, I have been well treated as a professional and as an administrator of a support service.
  • KISD does an excellent job with special education, Head Start and the advanced placement/GT programs. Vocational education or basic courses for the middle of the road student is lacking. Counseling at the high school is scheduling only - no college or vocational counseling is offered. Very little contact or support to parents.
  • KISD is a wonderful district to work for, send my children to two of their campuses and just being part of this system. The administrators, main office, teachers, support staff are all wonderful.
  • I believe that KISD should look into better pay and better insurance for this district.
  • NEED more MONEY.
  • There is a concern in special ed. over the number of students who have always passed TAAS, but under the new standards, the teachers feel they won't. The teachers are requesting the child be given SDAA. Kids are being denied the right to even attempt the TAAS test. This is happening at all grade levels.
  • I have heard many complaints about the Math department at THS and incompetent teachers. These complaints come from parents of former and current Tivy High School students. Since this is a continuing problem, why can't something be done to replace those teachers?
  • Our district is in the process of building two new schools - one elementary, the other a high school. The elementary is being built where there are not very many students - this will not help the schools that are overcrowded and will not stop students from being transferred. The high school is on an old garbage dump area and not far from the sewage treatment plant. The odor is horrible - what kind of planning is this?
  • The district does an excellent job of preparing high functioning college-bound students on one end and special education students on the other end. However, at-risk kids in the middle are in need of greatly improved services.
  • I feel like the central office administration should listen more closely to employees when they come forward about a concern at their campus that hasn't been addressed by their own administration. The first thing that a school district needs to do is accept that there is a drug problem before they can do something about it. DENIAL won't work.
  • Input from community, parents and teachers exists but is never used! Decisions are made by a select few board members for the affluent and their children only.
  • KISD has made great strides academically with very limited resources. The large numbers of retirees with frozen taxes, the bankruptcy of Mooney Aircraft and unusually high insurance cost (because of experienced staff) have impacted the fund balance. However, these concerns have been discussed and will be remedied in the near future by payment of back taxes and the sale of property to Home Depot.
  • Financial management is poor. Taxpayer monies could have been better spent building the new elementary, repairing the other schools and expanding the high school where it is now. The new high school should not have been built, especially several miles away from the football stadium, practice fields and weight rooms. The high school population has not changed that much over the past 20 years.
  • Math instruction seems to be deficient from middle school through high school.
  • Difficult to think we are preparing students to succeed in high school - bad data from 9th graders; 400+ enter each year; 200+ graduate four years later. Hispanic students very high numbers in negative data categories.
  • I do not agree with how the alternative school is handled. It allows unruly kids to be out during working hours unsupervised. I think the alternative school should be for punishment not convenience. Convenience that allows them to sleep all morning and go to school 3 hours a day. Transportation of these students should also be left up to the parents, not the district.
  • Two of my children graduated from Tivy, both were part of the AP programs. They have had immense difficulty with math at the college level. Tivy staff did not prepare them adequately. I am dissatisfied with the program. A third child is now at Tivy and the same situation is resulting. Perhaps higher pay would entice more qualified math/science teachers to the district.
  • KISD is a wonderful district to work in and educate children. The professionals that I come in contact with on a daily basis have the success of children first and foremost in their minds. The ethics and high values are carried out in their actions. The idea or concept that we, as a district, can accomplish excellence in education is approached through teamwork.
  • Insurance benefits are poor and costly. Salaries are $5-10,000 per year below our neighboring big city. Athletic programs are frequently funded before and better than academic programs. My greatest issue of concern is a state/national issue. Schools are not offering effective career/tech. Programs that truly cater to those students with no college plans. High school graduates should leave with a trade/skill or college preparedness.
  • I am a parent as well as work for KISD. I feel that our school board only represents certain socio economic people in this district. I feel that our administration has forgotten what it is like to actually be in a classroom and teach. The pressures being put on teachers to teach and pass TAAS is horrible and should be re-thought as to what is best for our children. The pay for personnel in this district is a laugh. So is having to purchase insurance through this district. If I wanted to have the best possible for my family, I would owe the district money every month. There is something wrong with that picture!!
  • In my opinion, the school board misrepresented the bond issue. A bond passed to build a new high school and elementary school. The taxpayers were deceived about the overcrowding. There is plenty of space on the property at the current high school to build additional classrooms. The bond passed the second time it was brought to election by a small margin. A poor site location was chosen for the high school. It is near the "city dump." Thousands of dollars were spent to replace the dirt for a suitable foundation. Then an extra expense to replace siding that had "mold." When the new high school is completed, the middle school students will be moved into the old high school buildings. It is on a major street and safety is a great concern. Several buildings on that campus will not be used by middle school students: Auto Mechanics, Horticulture, Welding shop and Child Development/Daycare center. The building that was built in 1982 for approximately 800 middle school students will be used for approximately 325 sixth graders. A huge waste of space. The district has spent millions of taxpayers' dollars and still does not have an auditorium for special events and band or choir concerts. Poor management of funds!
  • Seems to be a lack of discipline from sixth grade and up. High school teachers are out of classrooms attending seminars etc. leaving subs and teacher aides in charge. Teacher aides are not paid enough for the level of responsibility. Not enough attention is given to the 652 students that are not college bound. Need more vocational training. Too much depends on computers and not enough basics taught. Education system too afraid of ACLU. Not enough local control.
  • I feel Kerrville has exceptional teachers and schools. I think our district strives to have quality education and learning opportunities for every student. We have one of the best Career & Technology departments in the state. Which I feel is very important, because every student is not going to college, and it gives students the opportunity to learn a trade in order to make a living. We have Auto Mechanics, Building Trades, Culinary, Health Occupations, Child Development, Cosmetology and Industrial Technology just to name a few. Many of these programs also include work programs, on job training or shadowing programs. We also have one of the best Media Technology programs, with our own TV channel. The only area that needs improvement is employee health insurance. Our premiums are too high for the coverage we receive.
  • Students are consistently placed into a special ed. program if they perform below their grade level. This is done in order to boost the overall rating of the school when testing is done. Also, students are placed in an "academic mastery" program when they fail a subject. This A.M. program allows the student to spend six weeks or more playing on a computer so he/she can "pass" the course. Middle school students arrive unable to read above a third grade level and are unable to do multiplication tables and then they go on to high school with these same lack of skills. Students in the alternative program go to school from 4:30 pm - 9:30 pm. These students are unsupervised during the day. Many of these students have felony records and/or drug and alcohol abuse problems and some should have been expelled and sent to juvenile detention. They should not be home alone during the day. Also, these kids need counseling and none is provided. Despite declining student population numbers and public opinion, KISD is building a new high school and an additional elementary school. The high school will be adjacent to the city landfill! These expensive and unnecessary projects come at the expense of teachers' salaries and taxpayers.