D51 to launch communications survey

District 51 will go live Monday with an online survey geared toward finding out what people believe about the district and their preferred method for getting information from it.

The upcoming communications and perception community survey will appear on the district’s home page at d51schools.org and will be accessible through Facebook and ParentVUE. Anyone can take the survey.

Questions will center on how respondents rate the district’s quality of communication, technology, staff, diversity and resources and the district’s quality overall. Survey-takers also will be asked about which medium they prefer to get emergency notifications and general information from the district.

The survey is part of the district’s long-term plan, which includes a section devoted to improving district communication. The goal of the survey, according to District 51 spokeswoman Christy McGee, is to find out how widespread certain perceptions of the districts are and how the district can best communicate with people to work on those perceptions, and provide new information in ways people can access quickly and easily.

“We hear some complaints over and over again and we want to know how the community feels. You hear from the vocal people, what we want to understand is how everybody feels,” McGee said.

The survey likely will remain online through May, McGee said, although the survey period could end sooner or later based on response. The district wants to get a wide variety of responses from people in all demographic areas, McGee said, so some surveys will be sent home with students whose parents don’t have easy access to the Internet. The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce will promote the survey to its members as well.

In addition to the survey, the district plans to host focus groups with district staff, parents and community members to learn more about district communication and perceptions. McGee said the district has not decided at this time how people will be selected for those focus groups. Cranium 360 will facilitate the focus groups. The Grand Junction-based company also helped form the survey and will write a communications plan for the district, likely by July. Their contracted work is budgeted for up to $15,000, McGee said, adding the district put out bids for outside help because they wanted expert advice.

The district wants to develop a plan for being responsive to the community but executives don’t plan on copious amounts of money for any communication changes, McGee said.

“We all need to be better about communicating what the district is doing. We won’t necessarily start spending money on advertising,” she said.


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