Elkin ranks 4th in survey on ‘Best Places to Teach’

By Kathy Chaffin - kchaffin@civitasmedia.com

New survey results released by Niche School District Rankings list the Elkin City Schools as being fourth in the state of North Carolina for the “Best Places to Teach.”

Niche’s K-12 ranking incorporates opinions of students and parents, dozens of statistical factors and student outcomes from each school system.

“I’m really excited when I see this type of accolades for our school district,” said Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Randy Bledsoe. “Our staff takes a lot of pride in the work that they do each day, and when we look at some of the replies of the people who take part in the surveys, it’s really encouraging to me.

“It’s encouraging to my staff, and it truly is a reflection of the excellence that you’ll find in our classrooms every single day.”

Statements by students were included in the survey. “The teachers are very good,” one wrote. “They have a strong work ethic and are willing to make sure all students understand and learn the materials.”

Another student was quoted as saying, “I feel I am prepared for the college experience. I had a lot of options at Elkin High School to prepare me for the real world. They offered many online classes, ROTC and distance-learning classes.”

Parents of Elkin City Schools students also were quoted in the survey. “Elkin High School is a great place of learning for those students who are academically gifted,” one parent wrote. “It offers several college-level classes for freshmen to senior year.”

Factors considered in the survey included average teacher salary, overall experience, administration and policies, health and safety, resources and facilities, student-teacher ratio, teacher absenteeism and teachers in their first and second years.

Elkin City Schools has a staff of 122 people, according to survey results, with four teachers for every administrative staff member. The district spends $11,832,000 ($9,819 per student) annually, and brings in $12,042,000.

For every dollar spent on administration, 10 are spent on education, according to the survey. There were three reviews written about the administration for the study, according to the survey results, and they were mostly positive. Other reviews written about the school system were mostly positive.

According to survey results, the 84 teachers employed by the Elkin City Schools are assigned as follows: pre-kindergarten, two; kindergarten, six; elementary, 44; and secondary, 31. The school system also employs 32 instructional aides.

The Elkin City Schools has a 15:1 student-teacher ratio, which is lower than the national 16:1 average.

Bledsoe said the school system also receives positive results on the confidential Teacher Working Conditions Survey the N.C. Department of Public Instruction sends out to teachers every two years. For example, he said 99 percent of the staff of the Elkin City Schools feel safe where they work, and 94 percent are pleased with the facilities they work in and the resources they receive to help them in teaching students.

“What every educational leader wants to create is a school or school system were teachers want to be employed,” Bledsoe said. “It reminds all of us that helping educators to feel valued and trusted with their professional knowledge in helping children to learn truly is making a difference in the school and school district.”

Kathy Chaffin may be reached at 336-258-4058.

By Kathy Chaffin


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