Salem schools seek feedback with survey

SALEM – The public is being asked to give Salem school board members some feedback on what they want to see from the district in coming years.

“If we’re trying to create goals, we need to know what the public is thinking,” Superintendent Tom Bratten said.

The district sent some postcards home with students to survey the parents on what direction the board should take and what goals should be established. Board member Brad Myers, who serves on the Community Relations Committee, said they received some of the surveys back, but not nearly as many as they had hoped to receive.

During the board meeting Wednesday, he issued a plea to the public to visit the district website at and click on Salem School Parent Survey.

“We want the public’s participation,” he said, explaining it’s tough to lead a district and do what the public wants without the public input.

The survey notes six elements that define high quality schools, including: programming; performance; prestige; convenience and service; learning environment and culture; and financial stewardship.

Parents are asked to rank the importance of those elements, then rank the importance of various activities or offerings that fall into each of those categories or elements, such as gifted instruction, school lunches, technology, dress code or sports. They’re also asked to rank their schools currently on each of the six elements.

Myers said the last time they set up board goals, they spoke with about 65 families and learned that when asked if they wanted new schools or remodeling of the current facilities, the public wanted them to remodel and that’s what they’ve been doing.

During the meeting, Bratten presented some photographs on screen to show the work done to revamp a classroom at Buckeye. He said the plan is to complete at least 15 rooms before the next school year, with five each at Buckeye, Reilly and Southeast. Each room will include new flooring, new paint, a new teacher desk, new coat racks and backpack racks for students and new storage units, along with new blinds and a window air conditioner.