The Peacham Act 46 Study Committee received 134 completed surveys. This represents approx. 20% of the town’s population of 688. We are pleased to note that the results came from a cross section of community members, not one specific group.
The largest group represented (37%) came from residents who had children attend the school in the past, followed by 21% who currently have children attending the school. Approximately 20% of respondents had no children, and approximately 20% of survey respondents have small children who they anticipate will attend the school in the future.
The issue of the consideration of voice by Peacham residents in decision making for any future option received the strongest response in the survey. Ninety percent (90%) of respondents felt this was either “extremely important” or “important.”
In the two merger options currently being considered by the school board, Peacham would have a 13% voice in decision-making in a proposed K-8 merger. The remaining 87% of governance “voice,” i.e. representation, would be shared by Barnet, Walden, and Waterford.
In a K-6 merger, the specific “voice” percentage in governance has yet to be determined, but would be a minimum of 30% each, shared between Stannard, Greensboro, and Peacham. The final percentage is determined by student population and will be decided as this option is explored.
The standalone option would give Peacham 100% decision-making ability, the amount we currently have.
The Tuition K-12 option would give parents 100% voice in terms of choice for their child but would give Peacham residents 0% voice in budgeting the financial outcome.
The issue of school choice for grades 7 and 8 also received a strong response. Approx. 72% of respondents felt that retaining school choice at grades 7 and 8 was “extremely important” or “important.”
The K-8 merger option with Barnet Walden and Waterford would require Peacham to voluntarily relinquish full school choice in grades 7 sand 8 reducing choice to Barnet, Waterford and Walden Schools for these grade levels.
All the other options being considered retain school choice for grades 7 and 8.
The survey results support the School Boards decision to explore the K-6 merger option, as they have explored the K-8 option before making a decision on any one final option for the future and before joining any formal 706b committee to finalize plans to bring to voters.