School board votes to conduct follow-up survey after bond referendum is defeated

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Minutes after approving the results of the defeated bond referendum, the District 777 Board of Education agreed to conduct a follow-up survey with School Perceptions to find out why the bond referendum was defeated.  
In addition, it will help give the school district the information it needs to conduct its next step, whether that be a scaled-down version of the referendum, or no referendum at all.
During the Monday night meeting, attended by about 30 community members in addition to BHS administration representatives, the board also approved the 2015-2016 calendar, which is set to begin Sept. 8.
The $18.7 million bond referendum, which was intended to set the school district up for the next decade or two, was defeated by a 1,354 to 651 margin.  The board had spent over a year working on the plan for the referendum, which included demolishing most of the current Junior High Auditorium and building a new middle school wing and nice-sized gymnasium.  In addition, several community meetings were held to hear from the public.
Because the referendum was defeated by such a wide margin, the school board wasn’t sure of its next step so it contacted School Perceptions, a company based out of New London that has been in operation since 2002, has conducted over 10,000 surveys, and is an independent research firm that specializes in conducting surveys for public and private schools, educational service agencies, communities and other state-level organizations.

PHOTO: Wearing clothing reminiscent of country school days, Alex Claussen and Charlie Gocha read from an old text at the the historic school house in Ambush Park in Benson. Their class was part of the yearly "old school" days celebrated through the Benson elementary school.

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