PEQUOT LAKES -- The results are back on the community survey sponsored by the Pequot Lakes School District, and it appears there is a strong agreement by residents that the current school is inadequate to meet school needs over the next five years.
The survey was sent to 4,972 households in the district by Quality Breakthroughs in August. About 690 households returned the survey, a response rate of 14 percent. About 10 percent is considered an excellent return rate. Focus groups were also conducted this summer.
"These are probably the most positive results I've ever seen," said Linda Marren of Quality Breakthroughs.
Overall, the results indicated a many strengths in the district. There were no great areas of weakness, except when it came to the school facilities. Most respondents, including those without children in the district, did not believe that the school was adequate to meet current or future space needs.
Of those who responded, 38 percent did not agree that the school was adequate to meet the needs for the next five years. Of this 38 percent, 50 percent were parents of preschoolers, 38 percent were parents of elementary students, 33 percent were parents of seventh- or eighth-graders, 36 percent were parents of high school students and 38 percent were non-parents in the district.
Some respondents felt the district should close open enrollment so that there was more room at the current school for students within the district. Others were fearful of tax increases if the district passes its $27.85 bond referendum this year. Other respondents felt the district needs to be ready for current and future growth.
Some respondents wanted the district to provide Spanish courses for younger students and greater course offerings of Spanish in the high school. Some were critical of decreased communication between parents of teenagers and the school. Other respondents felt the district focuses too much on athletics and not enough on academics.
Quality Breakthroughs recommended that the district implement a "News and Notes" weekly newsletter for junior and senior high school students and publicize the Web site and keep information current. They also recommended that the district provide the community with more information about current and future facilities needs, why certain alternatives are recommended and any tax impact on residents.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.