Research Consulting Firm Donates Resources to Help School District Hear from Area Parents

St Paul, MN, September 14, 2008 --( In response to a recent trend of students moving out of the district, the Stillwater School Board reached out to the community to find out why. In April, the board surveyed over 1,200 residents to get answers to that question and develop a plan to reverse the trend.

The project started as a collaboration between the school board and E.G. Insight, a research firm based in St. Paul, as well as several school officials who served as a design team. E.G. Insight provided its services free of charge to the district, with the belief that other communities could benefit from similar studies in the future. After the questions and key dimensions were developed, the targeted respondents and methods were discussed.

The team developed two main methods of collecting data. First, parents were asked to take a survey available through the school district’s website. The results of this survey revealed that 55 percent of respondents gave the public schools a “B” grade, while 25 percent gave a grade of an “A.”

Second, phone interviews were conducted with Stillwater area residents who have students attending schools outside their assigned public school. Residents outside of the Stillwater district who attended Stillwater schools were also added to this list of respondents. The top decision-making factors identified by these groups were student-teacher relationships.

Overall, the survey research project has helped the district focus on its specific strengths and weaknesses in strategic planning and communications. The next steps in the research process will involve multiple focus groups to get more in-depth analysis on key topics. These meetings will be held in the weeks to come, with results summarized for the public in August.

For additional information on the Stillwater School Choice Survey, please contact Gary Gerds.

E.G. Insight, Inc.
Gary Gerds