In late Fall 2016, the District commissioned a survey to gather citizen input on the renewal of the District’s operational referendum as well as a variety of potential facility projects. The survey followed a months-long effort by the Little Chute Facilities Task Force, made up of nearly 20 volunteer parents, business leaders, and community members to study potential facilities improvements at the intermediate/middle/high school complex.
The survey, conducted by School Perceptions, LLC, was designed to gather citizen input on the renewal of the District’s operational referendum as well as a variety of potential facility projects.
The survey results report stated that the District had a 24% response rate with 837 residents completing the survey; a rate the survey consultant stated was “excellent.” In addition, the survey reported that the community is highly satisfied with the school system as a whole. “Eighty-six percent (86%) of survey respondents reported that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the school district,” shared School Perceptions founder and President, Bill Foster. “That ranks among the highest community satisfaction that we have seen across the state and is truly something to celebrate.”
Respondents reported that they were highly supportive of the District renewing a five year $275,000 operational referendum for technology. Seventy-four percent (74%) of all survey respondents said that they were supportive, including 90% of staff respondents and 79% of parent respondents. A renewal referendum is estimated to cost taxpayers an additional $5 for each $100,000 of property value.
The survey also asked residents to prioritize potential facility projects at the intermediate/middle/high school. Updates for safety and security received the highest ranking. Also receiving high priority was renovating space to create Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) classrooms at the middle/high school, building infrastructure, combining the schools’ library media centers, renovating classrooms and creating collaboration spaces. The three remaining projects -- renovating the cafeteria, moving the Flex Academy to the intermediate/middle/high school campus and updating the weight room and fitness center--also received support from the community. The survey asked respondents to state their support for a plan that addresses the infrastructure, safety and educational needs of the school. The total cost surveyed was $19.4 million. Fifty-five percent (55%) of all respondents answered yes or probably yes to this question, while 23% were not likely to support it, and 22% were undecided.
The Task Force used the feedback from the survey to lower the cost and scope of the project. The Task Force unanimously approved a project at a cost of $17.77 million. The Board voted to ask residents for their support on the Spring ballot at their meeting on January 23, 2017.