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New superintendent seeks input from community



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July 23, 2014 - Brandon Twp.- School district residents have an opportunity to make their views known and effect change through a survey released this week.

The survey is part of an information gathering project coordinated by new Superintendent Matt Outlaw and is available through surveymonkey, with a link on the district website,

www.brandonschooldistrict.org. The survey link is also being sent in an email blast to parents.

"We are looking for a couple basic things, it's not a long survey," said Outlaw. "We are looking for things they appreciate most about the district and targets for improving the district. We are looking for some of the areas we can focus on to improve the student experience in the district."

The survey features a drop-down menu to select different items, but there is also a response box for personalized input from respondents, as Outlaw believes many people will have "unique things to share."

The survey will be sent to all the e-mail addresses the district currently has, with hopes for at least a 25 percent participation rate. The survey will be online for two weeks and should be returned by Aug. 8 via e-mail. Information will be shared with building principals, as well as with the school board, in mid-August, leaving time to begin implementing changes before the start of the school year in September.

Outlaw gave a presentation during the July 21 school board meeting that featured preliminary targets as he begins his administration of the school district. Although short on details as he begins gathering information on what shareholders want, goals include improving student achievement across the district, the student experience, and the district's operational health; addressing how to best retain and support high quality staff; enrollment, retention, and technology efforts; and addressing key legislation pertinent to the district.

Outlaw also has plans to form a group called Brandon 2025 in the fall, composed of parents and teachers that will set a 10-year vision for the district.

For now, he hopes the survey will return things that can be achieved short-term.

"We are trying to figure out exactly where we are at," Outlaw said. "We are committed to being the best school district we can be and in order to do that, we have to hear from the people in our system."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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