The Menlo Park City School District continues its effort to encourage community input into its direction and planning, as well as proactively providing information of interest to the public. The next phase of this engagement is a community survey mailed to adult residents within the MPCSD borders and all MPCSD parents the week of October 24.
The survey, intended to become an annual outreach effort, elicits opinions on what the community values and expects from its schools, how well the district is accomplishing its goals, and what directions and priorities the district should pursue. This year’s survey provides additional opportunity for the community to weigh in on the district’s financial planning.
MPCSD has partnered with Panorama Education which shares MPCSD’s vision for engaging and partnering with community members to best serve students. There is no question that educational excellence matters to community members, and district leaders can unlock important insights from their community through Panorama’s best-in-class analytics and reporting.
Earlier this month, the district debuted its OpenGov portal, allowing transparent access to MPCSD’s financial records. Many regular and special School Board meetings have been dedicated to receiving community input and feedback on the parcel tax election last spring, ideas for working within funding constraints, and the possibility of another parcel tax this school year. Notices of meetings and online input forums have been published through newspaper, school newsletter, and social networking platforms in an effort to reach as many community stakeholders as possible.
While the immediate topic of how to address the district’s structural deficit is making news, MPCSD is taking a longer view of this challenge. By creating more ways for the community to engage with district administrators and the School Board, partnering with Panorama to create a real and ongoing culture of feedback, and using OpenGov for financial transparency, MPCSD hopes the honest dialogue that begins with tackling its financial challenge will lead to more and better collaboration with the community going forward. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.