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