Approximately 6,300 Rockford Public Schools parents and guardians who recently registered their students for grades K, 6 or 9 for the 2005-2006 school year will soon find an envelope in their mailboxes that will give them the opportunity to express their views about the way students are assigned to schools in the district.
The Board believes the views of parents and the public are important factors in deciding what policies are adopted for assigning students. The two-page survey seeks to gain the perceptions of parents on many of the important issues related to school assignment. For the first time, parents are being asked what factors were important to them in choosing a school. Responses are anonymous when returned in the business reply envelope provided.
The Rockford Public Schools achieved unitary status on June 30, 2002, and began to place students under a new student assignment plan for the 2002-2003 school year. While the plan was to be evaluated regularly, those evaluations did not take place. This is the first parent survey of the new process.
School Board President Nancy Kalchbrenner and District 205 Superintendent Dennis L. Thompson urge those receiving surveys to complete and return them so the Board and administration may have the benefit of parents views. Spanish-speaking parents/guardians will be receiving copies of the survey in Spanish.
The Board has contracted with the Health Systems Research office at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The office regularly conducts major surveys in the Rockford area, including the last student assignment survey in 2002, which was used by the Board to shape the current assignment policies in the district.
A report of survey results will be available in August to assist the Board and superintendent in reviewing the student assignment plan and developing future policies. Additional opportunities may be available in the future for parents and residents of the district to provide their views.
Info: Dr. Dennis L. Thompson, superintendent, 966-3101; or Joel B. Cowan, assistant dean for Health Systems Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, 395-5672.
From the June 1-7, 2005, issue