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Columbia Missourian

Columbia Public Schools invites residents to answer survey

By Sky Chadde
December 4, 2012 | 11:43 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — For the third consecutive year, Columbia Public Schools is asking community members for their opinions of the district.

Late last week, the district released a survey on its website to generally evaluate its progress with the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan, a five-year program started in 2010 in which the district hopes to make gains in five goal areas.

The survey will be available until Friday. It contains questions such as:

The online survey is available to anyone who wants to respond to it, whether they have children in the schools or other direct ties. People who take it are the ones who want to give us their opinion, district spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

The bulk of the data, though, will come from a separate, phone survey of registered voters conducted by Patron Insight Inc., a company that collects data for school districts mainly in Kansas and Missouri.

The phone survey is random and gives the school district a better idea of how community members without direct connections feel about its performance, Baumstark said.

The district's goal is 400 completed responses by Dec. 13. The date is not hard and fast; Patron Insight will continue to make phone calls until that number of completed responses is reached.

If the goal date of Dec. 13 is achieved, the district can expect a report on the findings sometime in January, Baumstark said. The district has the reports from 2010 and 2011 on its website.

In 2010, those surveyed felt satisfied with the district’s performance, according to a report that can be downloaded from the district's website. A majority of community members gave the district an overall grade of "B" in 2010. People tended to look for school updates on district sources first instead of the media, according to the survey data.

In 2011, those surveyed were in favor of the district’s performance and had an "active interest" in news about the district, according to another report on the district's website. Again, a majority of those surveyed gave the district a "B."

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.