On Centre: Penns Valley | School district seeking insight with resident surveys

mcarroll@centredaily.comApril 8, 2013 

How do Penns Valley residents feel about the job their school district is doing, and what would they change if they could?

These are some of the questions contained in a survey that will soon be sent to 1,400 district residents.

Superintendent Brian Griffith said the Penns Valley school board has authorized the research-based study to obtain reliable community perspective on issues important to the district.

Griffith said the survey will be conducted by the Survey Research Center at Penn State. It will be mailed to about 1,400 residents selected by the research group as representative of the entire community.

The survey, which is still in draft form, is available for viewing on the district’s website. Griffith said he expects that the survey will be ready for distribution to the random selection of residents before summer.

Among other topics, the survey seeks to assess the community’s perceptions about current programs and services, its expectations for use of district facilities and its support for future policy decisions.

“We look forward to receiving a good response rate in order to help our board make more informed decisions,” Griffith said in an email. “The plan is to also use the data as a guideline for the district’s comprehensive strategic planning.”

Residents who are chosen by the research group will be able to return the completed survey electronically or in hard copy. The names of those who participate will be kept anonymous by the survey group.

Making connections

The school district is reaching out to the community in other ways, taking advantage of social media to increase communication.

The district has started a Facebook page and Twitter feed to allow parents and community members to check in on the latest district news.

Announcements and news items that have been traditionally posted on the district’s website will now be available on those social media sites.

Matt Carroll writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. He can be reached at 231-4631 or mcarroll@centre daily.com.

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