Bedford Central School District
2014 Community Survey

To assist with long range planning, Bedford Central School District is conducting this Internet survey of district residents and staff. Survey results will help the district make programming and funding decisions beyond next (2014-15) school year. Please mark the response that most closely indicates how you feel about each question. An independent research firm is collecting and tabulating the results. The results of the survey will be presented to the Board of Education and posted on our website for your review.

School District Performance

1. Students are often given the grades A, B, C, D, and F to denote the quality of their work.  Suppose the public schools across the State of New York were graded in the same way.  What grade would you give the public schools in the State?
2. What grade would you assign to the Bedford Central School District (BCSD)?
3. Presented below are statements people might make about BCSD.  For each, indicate if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree.  
  People move into our district because of the reputation of its public schools.          
  People like me can’t afford to pay higher property taxes, no matter how good the cause.          
  We get excellent value in education for the school taxes we pay.          
  I would be willing to support an increase in school taxes to make sure the quality of education in Bedford Central School District measures up to that of other districts in our area.          
  I trust my school district’s Board of Education to make decisions about our district’s overall direction.          
  BCSD does a good job of listening and responding to community opinion.          
4. For each of the following, rate the job performance of Bedford Central School District as excellent, good, not so good or poor.
  Board of Education          
  Providing adequate school buildings and classrooms          
  Spending tax dollars cost-effectively          
  Meeting the needs of a diverse student population          
  Maintaining a quality teaching staff          
  Setting appropriate priorities for spending in the annual budget          
  Providing a rigorous and challenging curriculum          
  Avoiding damaging cuts to the educational program and staff          
  Handling discipline problems          
  Addressing character education and bullying          
5. There are many measures school districts can use to demonstrate academic performance of the district as a whole. For each of the following measures, rate how important you think each is in determining the performance of the school district as a whole.
  Meeting the adequate yearly progress (AYP) federal government standard for schools          
  AP (Advanced Placement) course completion and exam scores          
  College acceptances and placements          
  Proficiency as defined by New York State on State tests and Regents exams          
  Ranks and awards from professional organizations and the media          
  Graduation rate          
  Student grades and performance on school projects and exams          
  SAT and ACT scores          

Curriculum and Programs

7. More than 40 states across the country have adopted what are known as the “Common Core State Standards” for student performance. How well informed are you about these Common Core Standards - would you say…
8. Prior to using the Common Core Standards, New York had its own learning standards and BCSD’s curriculum was aligned with those standards. Now that the State has adopted the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and math, BCSD is aligning curriculum with those standards. Based on your knowledge of the actual standards, what are your feelings about these Common Core Standards?
9. In the past few years, the State has adopted the Common Core Learning Standards and has changed State tests as a result. What grade would you give the State on its implementation of these changes?
10. During these years, BCSD has implemented changes in curriculum and assessments to align with the new State standards. What grade would you give the district on its implementation of these changes?
11. BCSD measures student learning in many ways including quizzes, essays, and projects that we design along with annual State and college entrance tests designed by others.  Overall  do you think the amount of assessments and testing is…
12. Some school districts have lengthened the elementary school instructional day to provide more time for core instruction, language instruction and expanded enrichment programs. Lengthening the school day carries with it higher costs. Which following statement is closest to how you feel about lengthening the school day?
13. If the elementary school day was lengthened, which of the following should be a priority for using the additional time?
  Add instruction in world languages          
  Add instruction in art, music and physical education          
  Add more student directed time for projects, library and enrichment          
  Add instructional time devoted to English and mathematics          
  Add  instructional time devoted to science and technology          
14. There is some evidence that suggests middle and high school students perform better later in the morning whereas younger students are ready to start their day earlier.  Do you think the District should consider switching the current schedules so elementary students begin their school day earlier and middle and high school students begin their school day later?
15. Some school districts offer fee based adult education programs and fee based enrichment activities for students in a variety of topics. Assuming a program like this would be financially self-supporting after the initial start-up, is this something you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose?
16. If Bedford Central School District offered an adult education program, how likely is it you and/or someone in your family would take a course in the next three years?
17. Please indicate the courses below that would be of interest to you (check as many as apply)

Finance and Budget

19. The budget for next (2014-15) school year is scheduled for a vote in May. The following questions concern future budget issues facing the District.  For each statement, indicate if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree.
  There’s more room to cut from Bedford Central’s budget before students would feel the impact.          
  Maintaining the school budget without additional cuts is about more than protecting our schools, it’s also about keeping our property values strong.          
  The District has done all it can to keep spending down and keep taxes low.  Now the State needs to provide legislative relief for unfunded mandates, unnecessary mandates, rising district contributions to employee pensions and other legal obstacles.          
  Because the District has made cuts in programs and staff over the past five years, we can’t afford to weaken our school district by making even deeper and more damaging cuts following next year.          
  It’s understandable that budget cuts were needed during the severe recession but now we should take steps to increase funding for our schools.            
Bedford Central School District operates some educational programs not mandated by the state. For each listed below, indicate what you think about the following...
20. First is the pre-school program (three classes) that serves at-risk students and students with disabilities. If this program was cut, the students with disabilities would attend programs located out of the district at state and county expense and at-risk students would likely not attend any preschool. Should this program be…
21. Next is full day kindergarten. Should this program be…
22. What about electives at the high school. Should they be...
23. Recent annual budget increases in BCSD have been at or under the tax cap of approximately 2%. Current projections for the 2015-16 school year (in two years) show that if the budget remains at its current growth level, additional substantial cuts in teachers and educational programs would be needed to balance the budget. Which statement below is closest to how you feel about this issue?
24. Although the overall population of the School District is stable, there is uneven growth across the District. Mount Kisco Elementary School, the largest of the District’s five elementary schools, is facing enrollment pressures. The other elementary schools have room for some additional students. In your view, how should the district accommodate students in the Mount Kisco attendance area?  
25. If boundaries are changed, how high a priority should BCSD assign to creating elementary schools that are more equally diverse than what they are today? Would you give that a…
The State of New York allows school districts the option to adopt a property tax exemption for military veterans.  The school tax amount the veterans would save from this exemption would be paid in the school taxes by non-veteran home owners. Here are the options:

If BCSD offered the veterans’ exemptions at the BASIC level, it is estimated non-veteran taxpayers in an average assessed home would pay an additional annual school tax of $16 and veteran taxpayers would have their taxes reduced from $307 to $184.

If BCSD offered the veterans’ exemptions at the MAXIMUM level, it is estimated non-veteran taxpayers in an average assessed home would pay an additional annual school tax of $75 and veteran taxpayers would have their taxes reduced from $1,381 to $829.
26. Implementing this exemption, at any of level, is something I would
27. If the Board of Education implemented this exemption, should it be at
29. Do any children under the age of eighteen live in your household?
30. Do any of these children attend…?
31. Please indicate which school your child attends (check all that apply):
32. In which elementary attendance area do you live?
33. How long have you lived in Bedford Central School District?
34. In which of the following age groups are you?
35. Please indicate which of the following categories best represents your total household income, before taxes, for 2013.  
36. For statistical purposes only, what is your ethnicity?  Most people think of themselves as Caucasian, African-American, Latino, or Asian:
37. Are you…
That completes our survey. Please click on the "submit" button below to submit your survey. Thank you for your time and cooperation.
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