By Ross Markman
Havre Public Schools parents, take note: If your child hasn't handed you a yellow sheet of paper with school district letterhead in the last day or two, check their school bag.
Monday, the district sent home a one-page survey with each student, asking parents to evaluate the district's restructuring plan, which went into effect in June. The surveys are due back to school offices or the administration building by March 28.
"This survey is saying, Well, mom and dad, what do you think?'" said Karla Wohlwend, district director of personnel and special services. "If there's something we can do to make it better, we want to."
Along with district director of operations Ric Floren, Wohlwend co-chaired a 15-member committee whose aim was to create a survey that would ask parents and certified staff members to assess the results of the restructuring.
The 19-question survey asks parents, among other things, how well they feel their child has adapted to their new school, if they thought their concerns were addressed in a timely manner and if they're pleased with the district bus service.
Each question can be answered as "yes," "no," "somewhat," or "not applicable."
"I think transportation may be something people mark on the negative side. It's something we're constantly monitoring," Wohlwend said. "The concern was, Where will my child get on and off (the bus) now? Are they going to have to transfer buses?'"
Last year's restructuring changed more than bus routes, Wohlwend said.
The district's four elementary schools became three with the closing of Devlin School. In addition, students, who had previously attended schools based on where they lived, now attend elementary school based on their grade level.
Other changes included the elimination of French from the high school curriculum, and the district eliminated the jobs of about a dozen certified staff members in an effort to make budget cuts.
"There were some changes to everybody to some degree. That's the reason for the survey. Anytime you have change, you have challenge," Wohlwend said.
"I think the major thing that the district knew was, with our decreasing enrollment and budget constraints, we needed to do something different," she added. "After talking about it for several months, we came to the conclusion that we had to close the school."
Wohlwend, who hopes for a large response from district parents, said survey results could vary.
"Certainly when you do something like this, some things are going to be different. Hopefully, people will share with us what they might be thinking," she said.
District Superintendent Kirk Miller agreed, and said the survey is intended to do just that survey.
"This is not about complaints. This is about parents and staff and how the restructuring has affected them," Miller said. "We want to find out what people are thinking."