As the Bexley City School District begins a new strategic-plan process that will guide the district for the next three years, the results of a community survey indicate several residents are satisfied overall with the current state of the system, according to the local firm that conducted the survey.

The survey was conducted Jan. 8-18 of this year by Fallon Research & Communications with opinion research interviewers who contacted participants by phone, said Paul Fallon, the company's founder and a Bexley resident.

The survey was conducted with 300 adult Bexley residents randomly selected by using a combination of residential, internet and cellphone listings.

In the survey, participants described the quality of the education provided by the Bexley City School district with the following ratings: excellent (62 percent), good (33 percent), fair (3 percent), negative (1 percent) and unsure (2 percent).

When asked what priorities the district should focus on in the next two years, participants responded in the following categories: special education (10 percent), education quality (10 percent), diversity and inclusion (7 percent), continue doing a good job (7 percent), communication and transparency (4 percent), reduce taxes and spending (4 percent), focus on gifted students (3 percent), expand curricular activities (3 percent), more focus on technology (3 percent), hire qualified teachers (2 percent), improve facilities (2 percent), focus on average students (2 percent), more focus on testing (1 percent), other (17 percent) and not sure (26 percent).

Many of the survey respondents are parents whose children attend district schools, Fallon said.

"We only over-sampled for parents, so the sample won't look like a sample of the adult population" in Bexley, he said.

Marlee Snowdon, vice president of the district's school board, noted that 70 percent of Bexley voters don't have children who attend schools in the district.

"This (survey) has more information about our parents than it does about the voters at large," she said.

Fallon said the survey participants reflect Bexley's demographic makeup, although the survey didn't specifically target participants by race.

"I think it would be difficult to over-sample non-white respondents in order to get a large enough sub-sample, especially if you wanted to break it down even further because of the demographic composite of the community," Fallon said.

Fallon said the fact that survey participants didn't overwhelmingly identify a priority the district should focus on in the next two years indicates there's no single issue that stands out.

"It's when you start seeing responses in the 20 to 30 percent range that you say there's a groundswell of interest or concern about a particular topic," Fallon said.

The survey results indicate the district can focus on the big picture while proceeding with the strategic-plan process, which kicked off earlier this month, Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller said.

"I think the good news for us as we move forward with our strategic planning is we don't have a big area to fix before we can continue to improve," she said. "I think that what this helps us to see is there's not a glaring problem that we have to put a lot of effort into before we can move on."

For the complete survey results, visit www.bexleyschools.org.

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