The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Education

March 26, 2014

Answers to enrollment questions sought

CLINTON — A survey of approximately 220 families who open enroll their children out of the Clinton School District continues, and Clinton School Board members haven’t reached the results they had hoped for.

To this point, about 80 families have responded to the survey, only 36 percent -- a number that has some board members frustrated during the process.

“It’s been frustrating but, we were kind of prepared for that,” board member Dana Evers said. “We really want to have a conversation with these people, just to let them know their voices are important to us but it hasn’t been easy reaching them.”

Some board members have had better luck than others reaching their allocated recipients -- about 30 families were distributed to each member -- but nearly all of them have come back with about half actually participating in the survey.

One of the biggest issues the surveyors have faced is making sure the contact information they have for each family is accurate. Board member Eric Gettes said that has been their biggest obstacle thus far.

“The problem is we all have contact information for these families but not all of it is correct,” he said. “Out of the 30 or so people I have tried to contact, probably 14 of them have an incorrect phone number listed.”

The value of getting feedback from the parents or guardians of families who have chosen to open enroll their children to other school districts is something that cannot be matched. Because of that, the school board is planning one final push to reach out to those elusive prospects they have not yet been in touch with.

It is the only opportunity they have to truly understand why people have chosen to leave the Clinton School District.

“We have sat down and kind of speculated as to why parents decide to open enroll but that’s just it -- speculation, there is nothing substantial to any of that,” Gettes said. “Of course the more people we can get to participate the better our results will be so if we can get at least 100 families I would be pretty happy with that.”

School board members also encourage families who open enroll to reach out to them as well either through the district administration office or by their personal phone numbers listed on the Clinton School District website.

The survey deadline will be April 21 so the results can be compiled and presented at the Clinton School Board’s Committee of the Whole meeting on that date.

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