For the last two weeks, MGT of America has been assessing each school in the Wichita Falls Independent School District. Checking for physical condition, educational suitability, site assessment and technology readiness. But, that was just the beginning.
Ed Humble, Director of Education and Business Unit for MGT of America says, "one of the key pieces is what we call the community engagement piece. This was one part of that community engagement piece where we've asked the public to come in." Attendees were given a clicker to vote on questions such as safety of schools, technology, and site conditions. Humble says, "we gave them an overview of what the process is, what all the steps to putting together a master plan are. Then we asked them some questions to try to get discussion started. The votes poured in, the majority said safety was poor, site conditions were fair, and athletic facilities were good. "Let's get into that, and get into what people are really thinking. So that we can help develop a facility plan that reflects this community," Humble said.
About one-hundred and fifty voters in all, were broken down into smaller focus groups and taken to classrooms with a facilitator, to discuss why they voted the way they did. In one classroom a facilitator asked voters if they feel like the students in public schools are getting a quality education. One man said, " I think we do do a good job with education but I think we have a road where we can do a lot better than what we did in the past. One parent responded, I have some real concerns about our C-Scope curriculum. In another focus group the facilitator was recapping the discussion when a teacher added, "One of the things that I know our students are lacking that would help them is experience, outside of the four walls of the building."
Once completed the master facilities plan will be used to gauge the needs of schools in the future. For things like size, location, and equipment. "Where are those students going to be located? Where are they likely to choose to go to school? There's all of those kind, that whole demographics piece. There is the financial piece. How much can we afford and when can we afford it, Humble added.
The WFISD has posted an online survey on the school district's website.