The Lake Local School District launched a community survey Dec. 9 to gather feedback from district residents. The survey is a random sample intended to reach more 300 households within the district.
Respondents can expect a 15-minute response time and are encouraged to partake in the survey as it's the district's way of listening to those who support the schools.
"Communications is one of our strategic planning initiatives and the community survey is one of the tools we use to listen to the community," Superintendent Jeff Wendorf said. "The district does a strategic plan in late January and the results of the survey will help us determine where to go as a district. This is a survey of the community versus a survey of the parents in the district."
Lake partnered with an outside firm to conduct the community survey and compile the results. Wendorf said using an outside firm ensures the results are statistically valid and ensures that it is a random sample survey.
"If we don't ask the community what they know or want from the district, we're just acting in the dark," Wendorf said. "We have to be able to know and respond to what the community wants. If a district doesn't do that, they are being anecdotal. The survey is one of the only ways to collect accurate data from those within the community who may not have kids enrolled in the district."
The strategic planning team, comprised of community business professionals, parents, teachers and others, will use the results generated to help with development of the district vision.
Wendorf said the results of the survey also will be presented to the board of education as part of the strategic planning. The board needs to approve the plan before the district can put it into action.
Some of the areas asked about on the survey include:
- Respondents' perception of the district: How do they view the district? What do they think of the way the district sets priorities for spending?
- Communications: How does the respondent get communications from the district? How would they like to get communications? What information would they like to receive from the district?
- What is the respondents' connection to the district? Do they have children or grandchildren enrolled?
- Demographics: Are you a homeowner? Do you rent?
The district began strategic planning in 1995 as a way to set Lake's vision and goals. Wendorf said the community survey is a big part of the planning because it helps give the district focus and helps the administration and staff to develop an action plan.
This marks the third time the district has conducted this type of survey. The first was in 2009 and the second was in early 2012.