Public comments sought on review of schools


Public comments sought on review of schools


Date: November 14, 2011
by: Rachel Brown Hackney | Managing Editor



A company undertaking a study of the efficiency of the Sarasota County School District will hold a community open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Laurel Nokomis School cafeteria to take public comment on the process.

The school is located at 1900 E. Laurel Road, Nokomis.

The study, initiated at the request of community members, is being funded through a private contract with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Tallahassee-based MGT of America, a national consulting firm that provides public sector management research and advice, is conducting the study. The purpose of the process is to identify successful programs and practices within the district, suggest possible cost-saving measures and recommend ways to improve management and increase efficiency.

“I look forward to this opportunity to show that the district provides outstanding instruction and programs even in these challenging economic times, and that we are good stewards of the public’s tax dollars,” said Superintendent Lori White. “At the same time, there is always room for improvement. We hope this process will offer new and creative ideas that will help us continue to keep necessary budget cuts as far from the classroom as possible.”

In mid-November, representatives of MGT will visit schools and district departments to make observations. MGT representatives also will interview principals, department heads and other employees during one-on-one meetings and focus groups. Staff members are collecting data requested by MGT, which will compare it to data from school districts of a similar size.

There is no formal program for the Nov. 15 meeting; people will be able to submit their concerns and ideas in writing or speak directly with MGT representatives.

In addition to the open house, an online survey may be accessed via a link set up by MGT: The survey is available through 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, for anyone to submit ideas about various aspects of the school district. In late November, another survey will available for teachers and administrators.

MGT is expected to analyze the data and comments and report the results of its findings by early March 2012, so district administrators and school board members can make use of the information as they develop the operating budget for the district’s next fiscal year, which starts July 1, 2012.



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