The scope of the Wake County school calendar survey is being scaled back.
Instead of surveying parents of all 140,000 students as agreed to on Dec. 1, only parents of current elementary and middle school students will be contacted. School board members pointed out that only elementary and middle schools would be impacted if calendar changes are made.
The costs could have been $40,000 higher to also survey parents if high school students.
The board agreed to have the surveys sent home to parents with their children in January. Parents will answer questions such as whether they prefer the year-round or traditional calendar and whether they’d want to stay if the calendar changed at their child’s school.
Parents will be given the option of responding by answering the questions online, by returning the form to their child’s school or by returning it in an envelope whose postage will be paid for by the school system.
The three-way return option was proposed by new school board member John Tedesco, who cited his direct mail experience.
The cost for doing the survey was not immediately known. It's going to cost more than a $1,887 online survey option only but less than a $88,937 option in which all responses would have come back by mail.
The variable is how many parents will return surveys in the mail.
Administrators will analyze the results in March with the board potentially making decisions about calendar changes for the 2010-11 school year in late April.
Some board members warned that making a decision in late April would be too late for families making summer plans now.
Initially, the board had voted to have the information back by February but staff said they’d need more time.
Today's decisions will require the board to amend the Dec. 1 survey resolution.
The informal work session vote to limit the survey to K-8 saw a split among the ranks of the new board. Both Debra Goldman and Deborah Prickett had voted to keep the K-12 survey while the minority joined the other new members.