School climate concerns roiled the St. Paul School District in 2015-16, but most secondary students reported feeling safe in school, according to building-level surveys administered in the fall.
Three-quarters of respondents districtwide felt very safe or mostly safe in their hallways and bathrooms, and 91 percent reported feeling very safe or mostly safe in class, the results show.
The annual survey is overseen by a University of Chicago nonprofit group. This year, it was administered in November, a short time after Superintendent Valeria Silva held a news conference to talk about a loaded gun being found at Harding High and melees being reported at Como Park Senior High and Humboldt Secondary School.
Mary Mackbee, principal of Central High, said then that most behavioral issues tend to occur at the start of a school year, and kids then begin to "settle down."
Students in grades 6-12 were eligible to take the surveys. If more than half of a school's students responded, researchers then rated each building for safety, with the categories ranging from very weak to weak to neutral to strong to very strong.
Hazel Park Preparatory Academy on the East Side was the lone district school to be assessed as weak on safety in the eyes of its students.
Two schools -- Highland Park Senior High and Open World Learning -- were deemed to be very strong, safety-wise, and five others -- Central High, Washington Technology Magnet, Capitol Hill Gifted and Talented Magnet, and Murray and Highland Park middle schools -- were viewed as strong.
Como Park and Harding high schools were among 10 schools to fall in the neutral category.
Humboldt was the only secondary school that failed to reach the 50 percent response rate, and as such, no safety rating was given.