Connecting with Your Community – Not Just in Times of Referendum

When community members drive by your schools they see the same brick and mortar they’ve known for years.   But, do they really know how much has changed inside those walls when it comes to educating today’s youth?

For many members of your community, the only connection to the District may be the articles they’ve read about the sports teams in the local paper or an occasional news story about a special project or trip. For others, it may be a concert or performance they attend. Unfortunately, this may be the extent of what they know about the many valuable programs and services your district has implemented over the years.

From my experience as a retired superintendent of schools, whenever my district sought to improve facilities or increase operational funding, it quickly became clear that the community didn’t fully understand the resources needed today to provide a quality learning experience.  All too often at a referendum informational meetings someone would say “we sure didn’t need that when I went to school.”  Thus, the importance of keeping your community current on the educational initiatives and services you provide.

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More often than not, the only time the public is asked their opinion is when your district needs more money for capital improvements or operations.  While there is value in sending stories to the local media as well as publishing your own newsletters, a community survey is a powerful way to connect with the public.A community survey for school allows you to educate the community on the happenings of the District as well as canvassed the public about their perceptions and attitudes of what is happening in your schools.

School Perceptions has been supporting school districts for more than 15 years by providing the tools needed to gather data from parents, students, staff and the general community. Not only does a survey provide an avenue for feedback, but also an opportunity to educate the public on the programs and services in your schools.

Don’t wait for the next time your district needs money to survey the public.  As the district’s educational leader, demonstrate to your community that you want to hear from them regularly. Let them know your goal is to meet and exceed their expectations as a school system.

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