The Elkin City Schools Board of Education approved issuing a mandatory exit questionnaire to employees leaving the school system by a 4-1 vote at a special called meeting Monday afternoon.
Dr. Richard L. Brinegar, chairman of the board, was the dissenting voter. “I just don’t see any reason to mandate it,” he said after the vote.
Brinegar said at the beginning of the discussion that the school system already gets annual feedback from questionnaires.
Every other year, the Elkin City Schools surveys staff on a broad range of areas. On the alternate year, the school system receives its results from an anonymous N.C. Teacher Working Conditions survey conducted of educators across the state by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction to assess teaching conditions at the school, district and state levels. The survey was first administered in 2002 as part of the Governor’s Teacher Working Conditions.
Elkin City Schools administrators receive the results of both surveys, Brinegar said, and review all of the information for use in developing plans and goals.
“So basically, we’re getting their input every year,” he said.
Board member Frank Beals said he had talked with officials from adjacent school systems that issue exit questionnaires, who said they get a lot of useful information from them that they may not get in annual surveys, such as staff’s opinion on programs that work and don’t work. “When they leave, they’re willing to say more,” he said.
Dr. Jane Riley said, “I think more information is always better.”
Riley said having a mandatory exit questionnaire would do away with anonymity.
Brinegar said that might not matter to the employees because they’re leaving anyway.
Riley said some people might still feel uncomfortable having to do it.
Vice Chairwoman Haley Sullivan expressed concern about asking employees who may be resigning due to serious health problems or terminal illnesses to do a mandatory exit questionnaire.
In that case, Brinegar said, they probably wouldn’t complete it.
Allison Moxley, human resources officer for the school system, said Bledsoe reads the responses of the annual surveys by the school system and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, addressing them with other administrators, teachers and staff as needed.
While it was adopted as a mandatory employee exit questionnaire, board members acknowledged that there is no way to force an outgoing employee to complete it.
In other business, the board voted unanimously to award its driver education contract to the N.C. Driving School, which submitted a bid of $210 per child. Jan Zachary, finance director for the school system, said the N.C. Driving School submitted one of two bids received.
Dan Kiger, who was awarded the bid last year, submitted a bid of $410 per child.
“That’s a huge difference in price,” Beals commented.
Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.