District FAQ page goes live
The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education voted 5-2 in February to close Wetmore Academic Center, and shortly after that, the Wetmore Community Action Association began circulating a petition — which only needs 309 signatures — to disorganize the district. Since the petition began its circulation, a majority of district patrons have had multiple questions regarding the petition, as well as the transferring of land in Wetmore to another district.
In order to communicate with everyone about these topics, USD No. 113 Superintendent Todd Evans said he thought having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on the district’s website would be beneficial.
“I have been receiving more and more questions about the petition for disorganization as well as the transfer of district land,” Evans said. “I thought this would be a good way to share accurate information.”
The page to submit questions has been available on the district’s website for more than a week, but the page had its first questions responded to on Friday, April 28. Evans said currently he will be the one responding to the submitted questions, however, he relies on “numerous authorities to provide accurate information.”
“I use data available on the KSDE [Kansas Department of Education] web page, experts in school law, and experts in Kansas school finance,” Evans said.
While Evans hopes this FAQ page will be useful in communicating to all of USD 113’s constituents, he said maintaining the page will take time and effort.
“The benefit of this page is to allow constituents to get their questions answered,” Evans said. “A downfall may be that it takes a considerable amount of time to respond to questions. I know that as I am writing this, I have several questions that will take time and effort to answer. Running a school district takes considerable work. Finding the additional time to respond to these questions is important, but also can be an obstacle.”
“When working with school finance and school law, there is a large amount of information. Trying to provide concise responses to complex questions is a challenge. It is also a challenge to provide enough information to answer the question without relying on technical jargon known to individuals who work with Kansas school budgeting information on a regular basis. A downfall of the FAQs is that it is typically a two-step dialogue that doesn’t provide feedback to know if communication was successful.”
Evans reported that as of Monday afternoon, May 1, only 12 questions had been submitted. Evans also said he does not envision every question being answered, but in some cases, he has been able to combine the questions because “they are interrelated.”
Evans also said the district will continue to evaluate the page to determine its “effectiveness as a form of communication.”
While there might be multiple questions regarding other things in the district, Evans said he would like to limit the scope of questions on the FAQ page to the disorganization petition and land transfers.
“Constituents with other questions are welcome to ask questions of myself or other school personnel with the available resources to provide accurate information,” Evans said.
To submit your question or see other questions that have been answered, go to https://www.usd113.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/District%7CFAQ%20-%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20for%20USD%20113.