Survey seeks student feedback

Alexis Mearkle, Reporter

Superintendent Richard Fry wanted to know what some of the strengths and weaknesses of Big Spring High School were, so he decided to create a Thought Exchange survey to find these things out. He said, “Thought Exchange is something I have wanted to roll out for about a year. As we began moving forward with our Profile of a Graduate work, this seemed like the perfect tool to gauge our community, staff and students on specific matters around that work.”

Upon hearing about the survey, Dean Smith, English teacher, said he knew he wanted to incorporate it into his Opus class . He said, “There were over 1,600 results, and we looked through them and made a list of some of the most common problems. We then wrote 14 papers that included potential solutions and bound them into a book that we are sending to Richard Fry.”

On Feb 23 the book was sent to Fry and on March 8 Fry came to Smith’s classroom to discuss these issues with the students. While it seemed like many of these problems had clean cut solutions, things were more complex than they appeared.

Fry said about the use of his data, “Dr. Smith’s direction with the Opus class is exactly the real world type of learning we want our students to be exposed to and grow with as a young adult.”

The papers included the following: Bullying, starting school later, flextime, allowing students to carry medication, parking, dress code, Chartwells, The Growler, advisement, students and life skills, program funding, bell schedule, and security.

Smith said that an issue that really caught Fry’s attention was bullying. Some students at Big Spring do not feel like enough is being done to prevent bullying and helping those who have been bullied. In the meeting there was talk about bringing back the “Text A Tip” program.

While there won’t be changes anytime soon, Fry definitely listened to the students and what they had to say. He said, “We will absolutely utilize some of the thoughts and ideas generated by the class for future work on those specific matters.”