Not Just Voting at Polls; A Pottsgrove Survey, Too

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – In the first phase of a new effort to reach and communicate with Pottsgrove School District residents, the district Tuesday (Nov. 2, 2021) asked voters outside Election Day polling places in Lower, Upper, and West Pottsgrove townships to complete a short survey.

Not Just Voting at Polls; A Pottsgrove Survey, Too

The six-question checkbox form asked users to identify and rate what they considered as topics of importance on which Pottsgrove might “continue to improve and meet the needs of our students.”

The list included student achievement, increasing support for students, district finances and budget information, after-school tutoring to address COVID learning loss, a district-wide community service program, and building an internship program with area businesses. It also provided space for comments and suggestions.

Survey forms at the sites were held by a clipboard, accompanied by a sign explaining their purpose, pens to complete them, and boxes emblazoned with the Pottsgrove logo to receive them (at top).

Just how many individuals filled out the form, as well as their answers to its questions, likely won’t be known for several days, according to district Communications Director Gary DeRenzo.

The polling places’ survey in part represented the fulfillment of a promise made by Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty during the Pottsgrove school board meeting last Tuesday (Oct. 26). One of his stated goals, he said, is to expand the district’s outreach to varied stakeholders.

Surveys at the polls hoped in part to reach community members who – unlike students, their parents, and staff – see fewer messages from or less news about Pottsgrove and its activities.

In many cases, members of that audience usually have no school-age children living at home. According to 2018 U.S. Census Bureau information presented by the Demographic Statistical Atlas, their numbers could be considered significant. Its data reported that:

Tuesday’s polling place survey required no expense for the locations, Finnerty told board President Al Leach in response to a question. The forms and boxes, prepared in advance, were “ready to use” on a “zero-cost day,” the superintendent said. All municipalities involved agreed to serve as hosts for the district’s tables, he added.

Although the polls represented a starting point, the paper survey won’t be limited to registered voters, Finnerty explained. The district also is “reaching out to local organizations to explore ways to improve the number of community members” it contacts.

The district will circle back to its students, families and employees too, DeRenzo noted. Surveys to them will be distributed digitally next week, he said.

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