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1 Survey of Rural School Leaders on the question of: Do we need a rural DPI office?

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Presentation on theme: "1 Survey of Rural School Leaders on the question of: Do we need a rural DPI office?"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Survey of Rural School Leaders on the question of: Do we need a rural DPI office?

2 2 Background One of the priorities from the 1/04 Rural Forum participants was to establish an office focused on rural areas outside of the Madison area. To clarify, the State Superintendent charged a team of 3 DPI staff members to survey a representative sample of rural school leaders.

3 3 Survey Purpose The purpose of the survey was to see if the need for a rural presence was evident. Survey focus on:  Services and programs that would be improved (or increased) if DPI had a broader presence outside of Madison; and/or  Improve communications and connections, and increase access to information and services to rural schools and communities through existing personnel and resources.

4 4 Findings Summary - Themes Distance from Madison- 150 miles and or Highway 8 barrier = Rural – Rural Districts Existing Relationship to DPI Resource Broker Face to Face Use of Technology Rural Office vs. Rural Presence

5 5 Findings Summary – Distance from Madison Survey found a significant difference in responses from school leaders who could drive to Madison and back in a day vs. those that needed to stay overnight. Respondents from rural-rural districts, north of Highway 8, feel that their influence on DPI in the legislative, policy, and budget process is less.

6 6 Ludeman Rural-Rural Adams Ashland Crawford Florence Forest Iron Jackson Juneau Oneida Price Rusk Sawyer Vilas Adjusted Includes -Bayfield -North Marinette - Burnett -Washburn 150 Miles Highway 8

7 7 Findings Summary – Existing Relationship to DPI Respondents overwhelmingly indicated they are satisfied or very satisfied with DPI’s responses to their phone or email requests. School leaders from rural-rural districts note difficulty building long-term relationships with DPI staff due to few face-to-face opportunities resulting from the distance/geography.

8 8 Findings Summary – Resource Broker Most respondents have a contact at DPI – someone they know personally and that is where they start. Survey Quote: “If I were to describe what it is that might be needed in rural communities, I might call it a resource broker; that is a person or office that provides easy access for local rural superintendents and does the digging for them …finding the program person … even finding the answer to a challenge”.

9 9 Findings Summary – Face-to-Face Respondents agreed it would be helpful to have a ‘DPI staff person’ that lives in the general area, understands the larger rural community, is able to attend CESA meetings, and to communicate the rural- rural message to DPI cabinet.

10 10 Findings Summary – Use of Technology Increased use of technology is important. HOWEVER, respondents also believed it was imperative DPI have a personal presence in some way with rural schools.

11 11 Findings Summary – Rural Office vs. Rural Presence While local leaders would not oppose a rural office, several caveats were mentioned:  Don’t take money away from us.  Can one person meet all our needs?  Is that one person able to communicate our needs and concerns?  Where would one office be located?

12 12 Findings Summary – DPI Presence – WEOP Concept Given these results, it occurred to the respondents:  Is it possible to take advantage of the existing WEOP network?  Is there a way to leverage the existing WEOP infrastructure to strengthen a DPI presence, especially in rural-rural Wisconsin?

13 13 Next Steps Local leaders were pleased and enthused the state superintendent was seeking input and searching for ways to help rural students and rural communities. Re-thinking the connection to CESAs such as more efficient communication via the PAC meetings – use of technology with a physical presence - maybe WEOP.

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