Voter survey results to be posted on Web site (4/15/10)

April 15, 2010

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Local voters can see how their fellow residents feel about Champlain Valley Union High School issues when the CVU Board publicizes the results of its voter survey.

CVU Board Chairwoman Jeanne Jensen said she hopes to post the results on the school’s Web site, www.cvuhs.org, in the next week or two.

During its April 13 meeting, the CVU Board discussed the results of an optional survey distributed to voters on Town Meeting Day.

Approximately 600 people took the survey.

Jensen said the survey showed “overwhelming support” of art and world language programs at the school.

“I would certainly be hesitant to cut world languages or arts, because it’s clearly a priority for our community,” Jensen said.

Another major survey topic, which has been discussed in several supervisory unions across Vermont, was school board consolidation.

On the survey, voters were asked if Chittenden South Supervisory Union should condense its seven boards into one. The majority of respondents, approximately 60 percent, were in favor of consolidating.

“Sixty percent in favor is a pretty substantial response,” Jensen said.

On Town Meeting Day, voters approved the merger of four school districts in Addison Northwest Supervisory Union. Two bills in the Vermont Legislature could reduce the number of school districts and supervisory unions.

The survey also showed “lukewarm” support for online courses, Jensen said. She added, however, that many of the comments made it seem that people misinterpreted the question, thinking the board intended to replace in-class lessons with online ones, rather than offer additional courses online.

“That was a learning moment on how to phrase things,” she said.

Board member Jonathan Milne said publicizing the survey could be a way to solicit more responses.

“It is a way of engaging the community in conversation,” he said.