Survey deadline extended in Mars Area schools
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The Mars Area School District has extended the deadline for its community survey until Nov. 12 after more than 3,500 surveys destined for homes in Valencia were lost in the mail.
Josh Schwoebel, district director of communications, said the post office is not charging the district to remail the surveys.
Tad Kelley, regional spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said it is unclear where the surveys went missing.
They were dropped off at the Cranberry post office, which is the area's hub, then were sent to the processing facility in Pittsburgh and were to be routed to Valencia from there.
They were addressed to "postal customer" at the Mars and Valencia ZIP codes, which is called a "saturation mailing," he added.
"We have an active search on for the remaining pieces of mail," he said. "We just don't have our thumb on it right now."
The district mailed 9,582 surveys to district households and businesses Oct. 9 and has received about 1,000 back so far.
The survey asks residents and business owners how long they have been in the district, whether they have children in the schools and whether they are employed by the district.
It also asks if the recipient would be willing to pay more in taxes to support district programs and for teacher raises.
One question notes that teachers are paid between $54,500 and $72,712 for 188 days of work and asks if that is too high, just right or too low. The survey also asks what the respondent considers an appropriate deductible for health insurance.
A sample of the survey is on the district website.
The district is currently negotiating with its teachers and support staff. It cut some elementary art and physical education teachers this year.
Parents and teachers requested that the survey be sent to gauge the amount of support for the teachers and educational programs.
First Published November 1, 2012 5:36 am