An overwhelming majority of Hannibal High School's 2019 graduates believe they will easily be able to find a job that will support them. That opinion was expressed in a survey of graduating seniors that is conducted annually by the Hannibal School District.
The results of this spring's poll were released during the recent meeting of the Hannibal Board of Education.
The 96 percent favorable response to the employment question was the strongest expressed by this year's departing senior class to any of the survey questions.
A year ago 93 percent of survey respondents answered in the affirmative regarding the finding of a job to support themselves, which was the same percentage as in 2017. The response in 2017 was 2 percent higher than the optimism felt by grads in 2016.
Graduates gave positive responses - 85 percent and above - to seven other inquiries.
* Ninety-three percent felt teachers were knowledgeable about the curriculum being taught. (That equals the percentage of positive responses that were received in 2018, which represented a 12 percent jump from 2017.)
* Eighty-nine percent of students felt Hannibal High School provided a strong foundation in the use of technology. (This year's technology response is identical to 2018, which was up from 2017's 80 percent.)
* Eighty-nine percent of the graduates believed HHS provided appropriate elective coursework to explore different career opportunities. (This year's response represented a 1 percent increase over 2018.)
* Eighty-eight of respondents felt their educational experience at HHS was positive. (That is up from 85 percent in 2018. In 2017, 87 percent of students said their time at the school had been positive.)
* Eighty-seven percent of students indicated that teachers worked to develop relationships. (That represents a 2 percent drop from 2018.)
* Eighty-six percent of departing seniors felt they were challenged to experience academic growth each year. (This year's response represented a 2 percent decrease from 2018.)
* Eighty-five percent of those surveyed felt teachers held high standards and demanded quality work. (That is a decrease from the 90 percent who responded affirmatively in 2018. In 2017, 80 percent of students said that was the case, which was down from 92 percent in 2016 and from 96 percent in 2015.)
Respondents continue to give failing marks to the high school when it came to maintaining a drug free environment (38 percent) and in consistent rules enforcement (29 percent).
Regarding rules enforcement this year's percentage represented a 10 percent drop from 2018 and 2017. The 39 percent seen the previous two years was up from 17 percent in 2015 and 24 percent in 2016.
As for maintaining a drug free environment, this year's response was down noticeably from 2018 (44 percent) and 2017 (49 percent).
HHS Principal Ted Sampson said the school's administrators, faculty and staff are striving to "be aware of everything that is going on" while attempting to "figure out how to combat that (drug activity)."
In regard to the presence of illegal drugs on the HHS campus Hannibal Board of Education President Mark Bross said, "We all know they are there, but catching them in the act..."
This year 157 of 211 graduates (74 percent) took the time to participate in the graduate exit survey. That is down significantly from 2018 when 82 percent (175 of 214) participated. Prior to 2019 the level of participation had been on the rise for three consecutive years. In 2017, 70 percent (149 of 213) took part while in 2016, 62 percent (152 of 247) responded.