Pandemic restrictions forced school divisions in the region to find an alternate means of connecting with the public.

One tool to emerge from that experience continues to prove useful. 

"We did find some success with doing a community survey around our budget," explains Brian Fransen, board chair for WSD, 

"We are going to be doing it again this year, reaching out to the community with some fairly standard questions about what some thoughts are on priorities within the school division with budgetary implications. 

Fransen reassures that the survey is fairly brief.

"I think there are five questions. Just looking for feedback on how we're doing with the priorities of where the money is going within the school division and the education of our young people in our community."

The survey is aimed not only at parents, emphasized Fransen.

"The public school system isn't just for the kids -  it's for the community, it is for the future of our society. That sounds, a little, you know. cliche. But it's so important for the community to be involved in having their voice heard and what's going on in our public schools because they're an integral part of our public education system."

Fransen says the feedback gathered will directly inform the content of the division's budget for 2023/24.

"Every decision that we make at the board level, especially when it comes to the budget - where money is spent or not spent - has a direct impact on kids and classrooms. The answers that the community provides in this survey will help guide the future of education for the kids in that community."

The survey can be accessed on the division website with paper copies available at the division office.

Submissions are due by February 21st at 4 pm.