Survey Gets Green Light

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

PRINCE EDWARD – County supervisors and school board members held a joint meeting Tuesday night to discuss budget issues, but also revisited the matter of a community survey.

Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith presented information on a provider, a firm that specializes in public sector surveys.

“They would develop a survey based on our needs,” Dr. Smith reported. “Their specialist would come meet with a representative group to specifically target the needs of Prince Edward County in this survey.”

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The two boards met last September in an unusual meeting of sorts and, with the aid of consultants, tackled school issues. At the end of the session, the boards focused on a survey of the community that, as conceived at that meeting, would be used to lay the foundation for a community forum or a series of community meetings to have a conversation with the citizens of Prince Edward about what's working in public education, what they want for the future of public education and the things that they must work on today to make sure that the system is quality today and quality tomorrow.

The survey, Dr. Smith reported Tuesday, would cost about $35,000 and includes development and administration cost, mailing, analysis and follow-up cost, and development of follow-up planning to deal with the concerns.

(The superintendent would also report that he had talked with two other firms, offering, “This is the one (firm) that mostly closely matches what the interests of the county are.”)

Dr. Smith suggested that the chair of both boards meet with he and the county administrator with the specialist “making sure that the development of the survey…aligns with the needs that were expressed in the fall.”

Supervisors, following a brief discussion, unanimously agreed to appropriate the $35,000, which will be transferred to the school.

“…We have the funds to do this item,” County Administrator Wade Bartlett said. “I mean, it's important and…it's a one time shot.”

The school board could take action on the contract for the survey as soon as their February 6 meeting.

Depending on when the contract is signed, Dr. Smith said the survey could be completed by the end of May or early June.

“It'll be a good time of year to incorporate the findings in planning for the coming year,” the superintendent told The Herald after the meeting.