Greenwood residents have voiced a litany of concerns in regards to Greenwood County School District 50’s proposed schedule change, which would condense summer break but implement two-week breaks throughout the school year to preserve a 180-day calendar.
A number of those concerns were addressed at community meetings and through surveys that were dispersed by District 50 — a survey some residents claimed they didn’t receive. One resident questioned why he didn’t receive a taxpayer notice about the survey.
According to District 50 spokesman Johnathan Graves, the survey was posted on Greenwood 50 Schools’ social media accounts and the district’s website, and local media outlets were informed. He said the district “phone blasted” parents who had their phone numbers linked to their PowerSchool Portal accounts.
The recorded voice message left on parents’ answering machines divulged to them that their children, grades sixth through 12th, were emailed a survey on the proposed calendar change to their Google Chromebooks. The message also encouraged parents to fill out the survey, and offered them an opportunity to fill it out at their child’s respective schools.
Graves also mentioned how the district didn’t want to use paper questions or ballots because they were “concerned about the return rate”, they were afraid it would “hurt the authenticity of the survey” and they weren’t sure how they would process the number of paper responses they would’ve received.
Another concern residents had about the survey was the number returned. Administrators received 2,727 responses, but the Census Reporter shows that in 2017 the area served by the district had a population of 58,214. Some residents believe the numbers don’t add up and want answers.
Graves answered the skepticism by noting how “the people who are the most interested about (the calendar proposal) are the people who will be directly affected by it.” He also referenced the Superintendent Search Survey administered by Coleman Lew Canny Bowen earlier this year, and how administrators received 1,100 responses — less than half the number received about the calendar.
While the board revealed that there were 2,727 total responses, so far, the district is still collecting responses and you can fill it out by accessing https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/gwd50calendar.