• July 8, 2013

    Outline of process to “downselect” concepts for High School Project

    State College Area School District’s Board of Directors publicly endorsed/discussed the process to narrow the concepts and budget for the High School project at their regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, July 8. The two-part downselect process includes the use of the survey results (a demographic representative sample of the SCASD community) from Social Science Research Solutions (SSRS) and an evaluation matrix developed by the Culture, Climate and Learning (CCL) subcommittee of the Board.

    Board President Penni Fishbaine stated, “Tonight’s meeting gave us an opportunity to publicly discuss the process we’ll be using in the coming months to downselect the potential concepts for the high school project. We have been seeking community input throughout the process, especially with our recent survey, and the Board recognizes it's our responsibility to use the community feedback to assist us as we narrow the choices to one concept and budget the community will support in a voting referendum.”

    The first downselect will use the survey results to determine the concepts that will remain in consideration and the budget cap for the project. The survey results will be officially presented to the Board by representatives from SSRS at a work session on July 15 at 7:00 p.m., with the first downselect vote taking place at the regular meeting on Monday, July 22. Approximately 6,750 surveys were mailed and an estimated 1,600 results were returned. To continue, a concept must have at least 50% of the total survey respondents’ support. This figure will be determined by combining all survey results of “support,” “slightly support,” and “strongly support.” Those concepts not totaling 50% or higher in the survey will be removed from consideration when the Board votes. The survey data will also help the Board determine the maximum dollar amount the community is willing to invest in our high school at a voting referendum. Like the supported concept, the data will indicate an amount that 50% of our voters may be willing to support.

    Evaluation Matrix
    The district’s Citizens Advisory Committees (CACs) and the Community Engagement Action Team (CEAT) provided their top ten criteria for the High School project and weighted the criteria for level of importance. The Culture, Climate and Learning subcommittee of the Board then organized the criteria into categories on the matrix. Using input from community forums and conversations and other data (e.g., digital dropbox feedback, staff/student feedback), each board member will use a 100 point scale to score the categories and will use the evaluation matrix to score each concept that survives the first downselect process. The second part of the process is scheduled for either the August 26 or September 9 board meeting and should result in one (possibly two) concept(s) remaining for consideration.

    Other data from the survey will include information on community preferences regarding the tax increase, which should help structure the financial plan, and the location of the high school. The entire SSRS survey and the downselect process is posted on www.scasd.org under the High School project.

Last Modified on August 13, 2013