Board of Education to solicit opinions on schools HARFORD COUNTY

September 19, 1993|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,Staff Writer

The Harford County Board of Education is ready for its report card and is asking about 9 percent of the county's residents for help.

For the first time, the school board is surveying county residents to discover what parents, students, school employees, business people, senior citizens and others think of county schools.

The survey will be distributed beginning next week and must be returned by Oct. 1.

"We are interested in what residents have to say to us as the customers and stockholders of the corporation. That will help us understand what we are doing right and where we can improve," board Vice President Ron Eaton said. He suggested the survey in March.

About 16,600 county residents will receive the four-page, 50-question survey, said Thomas W. Small, grants administrator for the school system. Results should be available by the end of the year.

Mr. Small and other school officials declined to discuss the survey in detail, saying their comments could bias responses.

"The information we receive will be used in developing the school system's five-year master plan for curriculum development, among other things," said Mr. Small, head of the committee that drew up the survey.

The survey will cost the school system about $10,000, he said. Although such surveys usually cost between $100,000 and $125,000, he said, the price was kept down because it was designed by school personnel -- not an outside organization -- and because most surveys will be distributed in person.

Senior citizens, for example, will receive their surveys through senior citizens centers and Meals on Wheels, a volunteer program that provides meal to seniors.

Business people will get the surveys at next week's Harford County Chamber of Commerce luncheon, while parents will get their surveys through local PTAs, Mr. Small said.

"We hope people will be thoughtful and honest in their responses. If the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, we want to know that," he said.

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