Communications consultant and adviser Peggy Sattler has recommended the Bluewater District School Board conduct 'exit' interviews with the families who choose to pull their children out of the district board and register them in a school administered by some other board.
“I will recommend that the board conduct some sort of exit survey — the point was made to us and I think it’s a legitimate one. We will also recommend that the board extend the reach of the survey in future years,” Sattler said.Of note, a random-sample phone survey conducted recently has captured some of this audience, but what's being advocated for here is a more consistent approach to seek feedback from those who choose to pull their children from the public board and enroll them elsewhere.
A spokesperson for the parent advocacy group Bluewater Citizens for Education (BCforE) said yesterday that while Sattler’s recommendations will be a good first step, the board should have made a bigger effort to contact parents who have left the system.
“One would think it would be most important to hear the voices of parents who have left presumably because they were dissatisfied,” said Lesa McDougall, an executive member of BCforE.
“The board must be able to locate individuals who have left. These are not people who would have gone quietly, and their feedback shouldn’t be a post-script in this process.”
I found the concept particularly interesting. Let's remember Sattler is a trustee and current past-chair of the Thames Valley District School Board. A board where, as far as I'm aware after six years of reporting, there is no 'exit' interview for the parents who choose to yank their kids out of public school and enroll them elsewhere.
Surveying this group would produce some interesting results -- and show the variety of reasons why parents choose to do this. Some of the reasons, I suspect, would be surprising, even to a board's critics.