Friday, December 03, 1999

Phone poll asks about city schools and services

Enquirer Contributor

        LEBANON — Six hundred residents of the Lebanon City Schools district will be asked next month what they think of their schools.

        And those who live within the Lebanon city limits will also be asked their opinion on city services and what projects they'd like to see completed in the next several years.

        Administrators in the Lebanon Schools are collaborating with Lebanon city leaders to develop a joint phone survey to be professionally administered sometime in January, said James W. “Bill” Sears, superintendent of the Lebanon Schools.

        Residents will be randomly selected to participate in the survey with a guaranteed response of 600, Mr. Sears said.

        The schools' portion of the survey will contain 66 questions and should take about 12 minutes to complete, Mr. Sears said. Questions will be asked of all respondents in Lebanon, Turtlecreek and Clearcreek townships.

        Five hundred people who live in Lebanon will also be asked questions developed by the city.

        “We're really trying to get a barometer to see how they perceive the district,” Mr. Sears said. “This is not our area of expertise. What we hope to do is use the information as baseline data and then readminister it in a few years to see how we did.”

        Questions from the schools' portion will relate to program offerings, the idea of neighborhood schools, safety and other matters. The schools have prepared a rough draft but haven't finalized it yet, Mr. Sears said.

        Lebanon is just beginning to discuss the questions it plans to include, said Doug Johnson, Lebanon's planning director.

        “This is something we've wanted to do since our growth surge began in 1990 and 1991,” Mr. Johnson said. "We've done a good job of trying to keep up with roads and water and sewers. But we want to know if the community wants more parks or what amenities they'd like or what services we should expand.”

        Lebanon's population has increased almost 41 percent, from 10,453 in 1990 to about 14,700 today, Mr. Johnson said.

        “We're looking forward to the 2000 census so we can regroup and use the information from the survey to begin planning,” Mr. Johnson said.


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