Thursday, September 27, 2018


As educators, we are not very good at telling our story. The Boise District provides for its students a comprehensive liberal arts education unrivaled in the state of Idaho, but we can no longer take for granted that our community fully understands the exceptional value of our neighborhood schools.

Over the past six months, the Boise District's Communications Committee has conducted a patron satisfaction survey and begun planning a Board-approved marketing campaign to get the word out about  the quality of district programs and personnel.

Idaho Education News, the Albertson Foundation-funded online education publication, ran an article last week about the campaign. Ironically, the Albertson Foundation's "20 in 10" initiative to provide 20,000 Idaho charter seats in 10 years, and the Foundation's multi-million dollar "Don't Fail Idaho" marketing campaign are two of the primary reasons why we need to get the word out about the quality of Boise's schools.


The first thing the committee did was to undertake a survey of district patrons, for which the District contracted with Patinkin and Associates, the same group that conducted the survey for the 2017 bond, which was paid for by Friends of Boise Schools. The purpose -- to find out how patrons feel about Boise's schools. Patinkin surveyed 500 patrons, with a margin of error of +/-4.4%.

Question 6 gauged how patrons felt about Boise's Schools:

We thought that the results on this question would come back favorable, and were pleased to see that a strong majority (almost matching the level of support for the 2017 bond) said "very well" or "pretty well" in answer to #6.

However, there were some patterns in the underlying data that gave us information about those on whom we might focus going forward. For instance:

The most interesting response to this question was "don't know".  Fully a quarter of survey respondents chose this option, providing us an opportunity to educate them about advantages of attending district schools, such as having smaller class sizes and well-qualified, experienced teachers.

And about those newcomers who might not know enough about our schools - who are they?

It's not surprising that people who have been here less than 5 years might think less well of the schools, perhaps depending on the locale from which they came. However, this is another group to whom we can reach out and communicate about our nationally ranked schools.

And finally, the survey provided information about the community groups we should have speak out as we go forward:


The Communications Committee is currently in the process of considering proposals from marketing firms. Once that decision is made, we will prepare for a launch of the marketing plan in January, 2019.