The new Wake County school board majority has fast-tracked plans for the parental survey which should now make it possible to use the data to make calendar changes for the 2010-11 school year.
During today's work session, the board agreed to modify the parental survey. They'll now do an online only survey of parents of all K-12 students.
Staff is scheduled to report the results Feb. 2 with recommendations Feb. 16. While Supt. Del Burns said the timeline is tight, it would allow changes to be made for 2010-11.
School board chairman Ron Margiotta and board member Deborah Prickett stressed they want to begin making changes for the upcoming school year instead of waiting until 2011-12.
It's a major shift from Dec. 15 when the board agreed to do a combination online and paper survey. Staff said they'd report back in April, which would have made changes for 2010-11 school unlikely.
But following the Dec. 15 meeting, Margiotta told staff to look for ways to speed up the process.
For instance, staff has overcome their concerns about low-income families being underrepresented in an online survey. Now they'll tell parents who don't have Internet access that they can ask their child's school to send them a paper copy of the survey.
In addition to the survey, four community meetings will be held between now and the end of February to get feedback on calendars.
Members of the board minority weren't happy with the change in survey methodology. They complained that the board majority was rushing things.
“Do we want to do this quickly or do we want to do this correctly?” said school board member Kevin Hill. “Did I miss a meeting here?”
Letters will be sent home with students next week telling parents the identification number for their child that they'll need to take the survey online. Letters will be mailed to students at year-round schools who are on break next week.
Parents will have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 25 to complete the survey.