If teachers are to successfully convey information to their students they must understand the subject matter. According to a survey of 2018’s graduating seniors at Hannibal High School, teachers were knowledgeable about the curriculum being taught.

If teachers are to successfully convey information to their students they must understand the subject matter. According to a survey of 2018’s graduating seniors at Hannibal High School, teachers were knowledgeable about the curriculum being taught.

The survey results, which were released earlier this month by the school district, showed that 93 percent of students felt their instructors were proficient in the material they were teaching. That represents a 12 percent jump from 2017.

According to Maria Mundle, assistant superintendent, that positive response was just one scene in the survey regarding the educational experience at HHS. 

“One of the first things that really stood out to me when I looked at the results of the survey was the student responses about their excellent academic preparation,” she said, also noting the majority of students (93 percent) who felt it would be easy to find a job to support themselves and who felt teachers held high standards and demanded quality work (90 percent).

“Ninety percent, that is really saying something,” added Mundle. “I was happy to see that.”

In 2017, 80 percent of students said teachers generally held high standards and demanded quality work, which was down from 92 percent in 2016 and from 96 percent in 2015.

As for the ease of finding a job to support them, this year’s percentage of respondents was the same as in 2017, which was two percent higher than the optimism felt by grads in 2016.

Graduates gave positive responses - 85 to 90 percent - to five other inquiries.

* Ninety percent of students felt they were challenged to experience academic growth each year. (In 2017, 81 percent of students felt that was the case.)

* Eighty-nine percent of students felt teachers want to develop relationships and felt Hannibal High School provided a strong foundation in the use of technology. (This year’s technology response was up from 2017’s 80 percent.)

* Eighty-eight percent of students felt HHS provides appropriate elective coursework to explore different career opportunities.

* Eighty-five percent of students felt there educational experience at HHS was positive. (In 2017, 87 percent of students felt their time at Hannibal high had been positive.)

Not all student responses were positive. For the second consecutive year 39 percent of outgoing graduates rated HHS below average in consistent rules enforcement. That stemmed a steady rise that had been 17 percent in 2015 and 24 percent in 2016.

The other concerns cited by departing seniors had to do with drugs. Forty-four percent of students rated HHS below average in maintaining a drug free environment. That is down from 49 percent in 2017.

In his written report, HHS principal Ted Sampson said the school’s faculty and staff continues to “strive to improve instruction and provide a safe climate.”

On the topic of security, Sampson indicated the school will continue revising its policies and procedures when dealing with safety.

“Many procedural and physical changes have already been made to address several concerns expressed by administrators, staff, HPD (Hannibal Police Department), parents and board members,” wrote the principal. “Additional changes are in progress for next year. Administrators are and will be receiving additional training on improving methods of investigating reports of bullying, harassment and intruder alerts/ALICE training.”

“We are always taking additional steps forward to ensure safety, whether that is physical safety or just your well-being and level of stress and anxiety during the day, based on your surroundings,” added Mundle. 

This year 175 of 214 graduates (82 percent) took the time to use Google Apps for Education to complete the survey prior to graduation. That is up significantly over 2017 when 70 percent (149 of 213) participated in the survey. In 2016, 152 of 247 graduates (62 percent) responded.

“We appreciate the feedback. The input from our students is very valuable,” said Mundle. “Three or four years ago we had a hard time getting feedback from students. This year’s survey is 82 percent which is much improved over three or four years ago.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com