Lawrence residents invited to participate in school district’s strategic plan survey

Lawrence Township Public Schools administrators want to hear from the community as they prepare the school district’s five-year strategic plan.

A strategic plan is a road map to success, Superintendent of Schools Ross Kasun said. He said the plan helps administrators set priorities and goals, and to monitor the district’s success in following them.

But first, administrators want to find out what residents think is important.

Comments are being sought from all residents in an online survey, Kasun said. Participation is not dependent on whether an individual has children enrolled in the public schools. The deadline to take part in the online survey is Jan. 22. The survey can be accessed at

To participate in a language other than English, respondents may use SMS by texting “hello” in the language of their choice to the phone number 728-55, and entering a nine-digit code to get a link to participate. The nine-digit number is 938-674-004.

“The strategic plan is important to help our district focus on the big things that can change us for the better. The plan can have a major impact on student learning and student growth,” Kasun said.

“We are aware of some areas needing attention and we want to know what residents think. Their input is important to inform our ongoing efforts to create excellence for all,” he said.

Through an earlier survey that also used the online survey tool called Thoughtexchange, administrators learned it was necessary to restructure and add more leadership support at the Lawrence Intermediate School, Kasun said.

The earlier survey results led to some restructuring at the grades four through six school, and also led to increasing the school district’s pool of substitute teachers. The survey showed parents want to keep class sizes small.

The results also helped administrators work to hire, retain and grow a skilled, diverse staff, and to increase the district’s safety and security measures, Kasun said.

Now, administrators are seeking a longer range view of what respondents think is important. The strategic plan, which will cover the next five years, will determine what the school district needs to do to become even better, the superintendent said.

Administrators are seeking input through a survey that asks one open-ended question and that allows respondents to react to the answers from others who have taken the survey.

“All voices matter,” Kasun said.

Survey respondents will be asked an open-ended question that does not have a “yes” or “no” response. Then they will be asked to consider and “rate” the input or answers given by others to the same question. They will rate the input and answers on a 1 to 5 scale.

Kasun said respondents’ thoughts and ratings are confidential.

Respondents may return to the survey as often as they like and continue rating responses. They are encouraged to do so and to rate some of the new ideas that have been shared since they last visited the survey, he said.

Kasun offered some tips to get started on the survey. He suggested coming into the Thoughtexchange survey to share thoughts and to say why each thought is important.

Respondents should consider and rate the thoughts of others, using stars. Rating 30 comments would be ideal, he said. When enough participants have shared and rated thoughts, it will be possible to explore and discover the results.

School district administrators will share the feedback once the survey has been completed and they have had time to compile the results,  Kasun said.