The District 65 School Board took an initial step toward preparing surveys to be used in connection with the five-year strategic plan adopted by the Board last March.

John Gotta, executive vice president of a consulting firm ECRA Group, made a presentation to the Board about various types of surveys ECRA could help District 65 to conduct to gather input from parents, teachers, students, community members and other groups. ECRA works with school districts across the state to monitor student achievement, to assess the quality and effectiveness of instructional programs, and to develop customized surveys to gather information.

The District’s five-year strategic plan adopted by the Board last March calls for surveys of parents and teachers to measure the success of nine goals contained in the plan. The plan contemplates that parents will be surveyed to assess the degree of age-appropriate disability awareness, to assess whether parents feel the schools are welcoming and supportive, to determine whether parents feel effectively engaged in the schools, to determine if parents feel the District has timely and equitably resolved their concerns, and to determine the level of parent satisfaction,

The strategic plan also calls for teacher surveys to assess teachers’ use of technology to enhance instruction in the classroom, to assess the degree of staff satisfaction with the District’s professional development programs and activities, and to determine the level of staff satisfaction generally.

Mr. Gotta said he would present a proposal outlining the scope of work and cost of conducting and analyzing parent and teacher surveys. He said the cost of handling a parent survey would cost in the range of $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the parameters of the survey. The plan is to present the proposals to the Board at its Jan. 19 meeting.

Several Board members expressed a preference during the process of discussing measurements for the strategic plan to have it done by an independent group in order to obtain the benefit of the group’s expertise and to ensure anonymity of the survey responses.