BELMONT — The Shaker Regional School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to have the University of New Hampshire administer two of the three culture surveys it plans on having within the month.
Chair Sean Embree said the university will host an online culture survey for students and staff for a cost not to exceed $4,000 for both.
The idea of a culture survey was being discussed among members of the staff and the board before some of the people who were at the annual district meeting in March passed a non-binding resolution demanding one.
The board met with an independent company from Boston in April and May and learned the price for them to develop a specific survey for the district would be just over $20,000 and that it couldn't be done before the end of the school year.
Minutes of School Board meetings indicate members formed a subcommittee in July consisting of Patty Brace, Gretta Wilder-Olsen and Bob Reed to develop questions that should be asked. The subcommittee also determined there will be three surveys – one for the staff, one for the students and one for the parents and community.
The subcommittee has submitted sample surveys to the full board for its consideration and said each block of questions will provide a comment section.
At Tuesday's meeting, the board agreed the most efficient way to survey the staff and students would be through email. The survey is anonymous.
There was discussion Tuesday about whether or not staff and students should identify the buildings they are in. Member Heidi Chaney said she want as much anonymity as possible and also wanted the creators of the survey questions to know that this wasn't going to be a "witch hunt."
"We're looking for general feedback," she said.
Chaney and Reed said they want all of the surveys to go out at the same time but wondered how to distribute the community and parent survey because not all of them have access to computers.
In the past, board members said that sending post cards and press releases about the survey may work for those without a computer as they can go to the library or somewhere where there is computer access. Board members estimated about 10,000 people live in Belmont and Canterbury.
The board will continue its discussions about the culture study in their September 22 meeting.
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