Monday, June 3, 2013

Reinforcing the need for collaboration . . .

I just left our board room where the members of the Maple Valley City Council hosted a meeting of elected officials from the city, schools, and fire and life safety organizations.  Though talked about for many years, this was the first time for what will probably become an annual event.  It was a positive experience for all in attendance, an opportunity to inform and to be informed.  David Johnston, City Manager, summed it up well when he said how the conversations reinforced how interrelated our organizations are and that future success  requires collaboration in meeting the needs of our constituencies.

The focus of what our Board decided to share was on our over crowded conditions and the need for a bond measure to create additional capacity.  We started this conversation by sharing some preliminary results from  a survey commissioned by the school system to gain insights into what community members know about our current reality and the conversations taking place on options to meet our current and future student housing needs.  Below, is one of the slides we shared.

In an answer to the question how would you grade the school system, 72% of the respondents graded A or B.  This was the second highest rating that the survey firm has experienced for a public school in Washington and Oregon.  We also learned that 70% of the respondents know of our overcrowded conditions and that 74% were influenced to move into the community because of the schools. We have much more to learn as the Board makes the critical decisions on the content and date for a bond measure.  I am also learning that we need to begin sharing more information with our staff because of the large number of people who indicated that they receive their information about our schools from staff.  So, please look and listen as we share information about our need and the options being considered.

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