Salina Public Schools recently conducted a comprehensive phone survey in September 2023 to gauge community sentiments. The survey, executed by ExcellenceK12, a market research firm based in Kansas City, involved a statistically reliable sample of 300 randomly selected adults who served as heads of households, ensuring geographical balance.
Participants were given the opportunity to share feedback on district services, highlight strengths, pinpoint areas for improvement, and more. Linn Exline, superintendent at SPS, emphasized the importance of community input, stating, “We greatly value and actively seek the community’s input about their priorities and concerns. Community feedback ensures that our schools remain aligned with community expectations and provide an education that truly serves the needs of our families.”
Results from the survey, presented at the December 12 Board of Education meeting, were overall positive. Rick Nobles, president of ExcellenceK12, informed board members that the data revealed solid scores, with the highest ratings in areas such as the quality of school facilities, performance of teachers, safety of students, and the overall quality of education.
Notable strengths identified by participants included "provides a good education" and "teachers/staff." Teachers and staff have consistently been recognized as a top strength in past surveys. Exline expressed pride in the dedication of the teachers, stating, “We are very proud of our teachers’ caring and expert work with students. Their dedication is key to nurturing each student’s potential.”
Areas requiring improvement, according to the survey, included "budget" and "communication with patrons." Participants were also asked about the district's top priority, with "providing a good education" ranking highest, followed by "teaching life/practical skills" and "retaining/hiring good teachers/staff."
The survey delved into participants’ views of the SPS workplace, with 81% indicating it is an excellent or good place to work. Additionally, participants expressed interest in hearing more about topics such as Career and Technical Education, bolstering school safety, and preparation for college, career, or military service.
The survey also gauged awareness of SPS programs and activities, revealing that 93% of participants were very or somewhat aware. Furthermore, 93% of participants rated the concept of expanding early childhood education as very important or somewhat important.
These survey results play a crucial role in informing district plans, communications, and projects. Exline extended gratitude to all participants, stating, “We are grateful to everyone who took the time to participate. Our schools are a fine example of community partnerships in Salina. Together, we make SPS a great place to learn and work.” For more information, visit the district website.