In the Worthington schools, teachers support student achievement and have high expectations, and students are being prepared well for college.

In the Worthington schools, teachers support student achievement and have high expectations, and students are being prepared well for college.

On the other hand, drugs and bullying are problems at the high schools, and some teachers across the district do not feel appreciated.

Oh, and the food is not good at any grade level.

Those are just a few of the conclusions that could be drawn from results of a school culture and climate survey of students, parents and staff in May by a company called Hanover Research.

An analysis of the survey was shared recently with the Worthington Board of Education and was to be shared with principals in preparation for the opening of school.

The survey was completed by 2,742 students in grades 3-8, along with 1,448 high school students, 2,124 parents and 581 teachers and support staff.

Administrator Jeff Maddox said the analysis showed plenty of reason to pause and celebrate.

"Parents, teachers and staff really like this place; they truly do," he said.

The survey results also show some disconnect among students, parents and teachers, as well as some troubling indications about school life, especially at the high schools.

Approximately 35 percent of high school students agreed that their school does not have a drug-abuse problem. Less than 15 percent of teachers agreed that drugs are not a problem.

Nearly half of high school students who responded said students do not treat each other with respect, and one-third of younger students agreed; and one-third of high school students disagreed that bullying problems were handled effectively.

One-fourth of high school students responded that teachers and staff did not treat them respectfully.

One-fourth of younger students and 40 percent of high school students said they did not enjoy going to school.

Only 10 percent of teachers responded that students often misbehave in class, but approximately one-third of each student group said students misbehave always or often.

From the staff analysis, nearly 30 percent of teachers did not believe they were appreciated for their work; nearly one-fourth said the district did not support them; and a similar number believed administrators did not support them.

Eighty-five percent of teachers said they needed more time to coordinate with other teachers, and others said they needed more time for paperwork, lesson planning, grading, interaction with students and professional development.

In regard to food, parents and students requested more nutritional food and less reliance on canned and frozen food.

Respondents were asked, "Does your school provide consistently high-quality, expedient food services?"

Sixty percent of teachers answered in the affirmative; fewer than 50 percent of parents agreed; 43 percent of younger students agreed; and fewer than 35 percent of high school students agreed.

Parents, teachers and high school students also were asked to respond to open-ended questions about strengths and weaknesses of their schools and ways to improve.

Weaknesses commonly cited were concerns about the distribution of students among schools; concerns about students being "bused in"; and concerns that teachers are not equipped to handle the needs of the changing socio-economic demographics in the district.

"It was noted that the comments in this section appear to contain negative racial overtones," the analysis stated.

Opinions about the main strengths of the district follow:

Teachers and their efforts are positive. Teachers motivate students with high standards. Teachers have a positive influence on students. Teachers believe they work well together and are driven by the desire to help students. The parent-teacher-community relationship is strong. The parent volunteer network is vibrant.