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Brookhaven schools seek community input — District posts annual assessment survey

The Brookhaven School District is in search of a little advice.

BSD officials recently launched their annual comprehensive needs assessment at www.brookhavenschools.org, and they hope to garner some citywide feedback before the April 2 deadline.

“The community is only as good as its education system,” said Rob McCreary, director of federal programs for Brookhaven schools. “We want to make our public school system better. So, we want to hear from all of our community’s stakeholders.”

The survey is designed to glean opinions and ideas from members of the community as well as parents, students, faculty and staff on how best to improve Brookhaven schools. Its questions assess district performance in areas like family/community outreach, classroom instruction, school facilities and organization.

It essentially offers the public a platform through which to grade district performance and expenditure, and Lipsey School Principal Rita Robinson looks forward to the feedback.

“We really need to know what our parents and the public would like to see different. We also need their view of how the school district is doing,” she said.

McCreary said the district usually restricts its comprehensive needs assessments to parents, faculty and staff. But, this year, the district hopes to involve the whole of Brookhaven.

BSD receives a certain amount of federal money each year, and the annual survey helps decide how those dollars should be spent. McCreary said the assessment takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

“People can talk about things, but, if they never do things like surveys, then we don’t know what we’re doing good or what we’re doing bad. With this, we have the chance to improve or keep doing what we’re doing,” Robinson said.

After the April 2 deadline, the survey will be compiled into a comprehensive report that also analyzes test score trends and other school success measurements. The district will ultimately use the report for strategic planning, administering federal programs that require an annual comprehensive needs assessment, and examining current school and district practices.

Due to the district’s “chain of command,” school board members said they were unable to comment on the survey.