Hudson School District launhces community-wide survey

by Tim Troglen | reporter\ Published:

Hudson -- The district launched a city-wide informational community survey April 30 targeted to get input from parents and community members on a variety of school issues.

The survey is being conducted by The Impact Group of Hudson. The group conducted an earlier district survey in 2009. The cost to the district is $14,500, the same as in 2009, according to District Communications Manager Sheryl Sheatzley.

"We re pleased to partner with Tom Speaks and The Impact group to develop and implement the community survey," Superintendent Phil Herman told the Board at its April 28 meeting.

According to Herman, Sheatzley has been "taking the lead on the project."

The 15-minute phone survey is part of the district's ongoing approach to enhance communications with all district stakeholders, according to Sheatzley.

"The district truly wants to know how we are doing and what is important to our parents and community in regards to their schools," Sheatzley said. "This will help guide the district's vision and direction."

The survey will contain a variety of questions which will help the district gauge community input, Sheatzley said.

"There is a tremendous amount of work and study that goes into these," she added. "These questions and answers will help us make a district quality profile which will be released in August."

The 31-question survey will last about 15 minutes and be released online and via a variety of other resources when completed, Sheatzley said.

"The Impact Group.. are just a professional group of folks when it comes to surveying," Sheatzley said. "They know the ins and outs of it and they work so well with the Hudson City School District and are so accommodating to all of our discussions."

Speaks is the principle of the Hudson-based group.

The names will be pulled from the current voter registration list.

"A phone poll is still the best way to get the pulse of the community," Speaks said.

If the survey was conducted online, there is a chance it could be manipulated and possibly skewed Speaks added.

While the phone survey will be the primary source of data, the poll will also be available online around May 7.

"The [online] data will be counted in a separate chunk," Speaks said.

The group is randomly calling individuals, using both land lines and cell phones. The group will continue calling until it gets 320 compete survey respondents. Only completed surveys count. If a respondent gives 30 answers, then stops, that survey is invalid. The input will be balanced from among each of the four wards, he added. The totally random sampling will give an accurate representation of the community, Speaks said.

The data will have a 95 percent confidence level with a 5.43 percent, plus or minus, margin of error.

"That's the same model we use throughout the state of Ohio," Speaks said.

Once the data is collected, the samples will be cross-tabbed according to gender, age and a variety of demographics.

The questions were developed with the help of school administrators, Speaks said.

Board member Steve DiMauro was concerned about the responses, stating that during the 2009 survey, questions about a potential levy were on the survey. And while there are financial questions on the survey, the district is in sound financial shape.

Speaks anticipates an 85 to 90 percent response rate, he said.

"There are still financial questions on the survey, but the 2009 survey was very heavily focused on levy passage as well as Board dynamics," Herman said. "This is a different set of circumstances."

However, Herman added that the Board continues to monitor district finances closely.

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

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