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Canastota schools: Survey results are in

Better communication between the school district and the community at large was just one way the relationship between the two could improve, according to a community perception survey.

Mark Dangler, president of Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. of Baldwinsville and his associate George Kuhn, senior research analyst presented results of the 12-week, district-wide survey to the board of education at its regular meeting Dec. 11.

Just 7 percent of residents in the district responded, around 350 people. Dangler said although RMS was hoping for a 10 to 15 percent response rate, 7 percent is normal for the industry.

Dangler said results of the survey showed that 58 percent of those responding were female, had children attending school in the district and have lived in the district more than 10 years.

Key findings determined that 34 percent of those responding were completely satisfied with the district, 53 percent were somewhat satisfied and 13 percent were not at all satisfied. Most that were satisfied had children in the school district.

Better communication was the best way for the district to do a better job. The public thought the board of education should take a proactive approach in reaching out to the community. They wanted more information on the website or through email. They were dissatisfied with how the board handled feedback and felt the board didn't keep an "open ear" to concerns.

Most of the elementary school parents were satisfied with the district's leadership but that number decreased with parents of junior and high school students. Many felt the district lacked academic challenges. They also felt the district employed a lesser quality of teachers, which contradicted the satisfactory respondents who felt the quality of teachers was the reason for the school's success.

Although 90 percent of the respondents knew about the district's website, a very small percentage actually browsed it.

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