Top 150 Workplaces Recognizes Washington Community School District
It is with great pleasure that I am able to share with you that once again Washington Community School District has been recognized by the Des Moines Register as being a Top 150 Workplace in Iowa. Since 2012, Washington has been recognized as a top workplace.
This is a credit to the entire system of employees who make Washington so special, caring people to educate our students, who also feel great about the place they call work. This year Washington placed 12th overall in the mid-size category. The mid-size category includes those with businesses with more than 150 employees but less than 500.
Employees are surveyed at participating employers using either a paper or online survey application. Responders rank each statement on a seven-point scale ranging from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree.” Each of the statements has been tested to ensure it has a high correlation with how employees feel about their workplace, which is calculated by correlating the statement responses to a control question that asks each employee to rate their workplace on a scale of zero to 99.
A response rate of at least 35 percent for employees based in Iowa is required. After the survey is complete, a series of statistical tests is run to look for questionable results. A small number of employers are disqualified based on those tests.
According to the Sunday Des Moines Register on September 13th, what makes a top workplace great is “the feeling that employees are doing work that makes a difference, that contributes to a clearly articulated vision of where the company is going, and how it plans to get there.”
This definition certainly exemplifies what I have learned in my time at Washington CSD. While this is great recognition, I also want to take it as a challenge to continually improve on our system. A great accomplishment and great springboard for the new school year.
Kirkwood Enrollment Increases
I just received some preliminary enrollment numbers for Washington County Regional Center for the Fall 2015 term. With this only being the second year, enrollments are showing a strong upward trend. At this time last year, the Center had 158 students from 6 area school districts, compared to 220 students for the Fall of 2015. This is an outstanding increase, and should serve as a good reminder how fortunate we are to have this Center located in Washington. Our students have a great luxury by having this in our community.
Last year, the number of credits earned by Washington Community District students was over $228,000 in tuition that our parents will not have to pay. While not each and every class is guaranteed to transfer, more and more flexibility is being shown by all colleges to accept these credits. This is similar to the same dilemma students could face by taking Advanced Placement (AP) if they are unable to earn a qualifying score at the end of the term, the credit doesn’t transfer. If your student participates at Kirkwood, you will not be faced with the potential of 5 years of postsecondary expenses, but rather they should be finishing a 4 year degree in 3 years. What an advantage for our students!
The other bright spot is that we have more involvement from area schools in what the Center has to offer. The following numbers indicate the breakdown by district of the students participating at the Washington County Regional Center for the Fall 2015 term: Washington High School - 128, Washington Home School - 2, WRAP - 8, Highland High School - 59, Keota High School - 9, Lone Tree High School - 1, Mid-Prairie High School - 11, Mid-Prairie Home School - 3, and WACO - 0.
This is very exciting to see all of the area high schools encouraging their students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities at the Washington County Regional Center. I am certainly glad that this opportunity is so convenient for the students who attend Washington High School. As the opportunities continue to improve at the Regional Center, I hope to see our open enrollment deficit improve. If you have questions, feel free to drop me an email or stop by.