Donovan Group Insights

Summer is a Time for Focus Groups

School’s out for the summer. So, what do you do? You think of ways to make next year even better. But before you can put new ideas into action, you have to make sure they align not only with what you think is best for the district, but what stakeholders think is best for the district.

That’s why focus groups should be part of your planning process for the upcoming school year.

Turn your attention to the big picture

During the school year, your focus is on the students. With all the events, assemblies, meetings and activities going on, there’s little time to discuss how your district can improve the educational value of its schools. Daily operations take precedence over the big picture.

Summer is for exploring new ideas. When school is out of session, you have all the time you need to brainstorm potential programs and initiatives. After months of planning, you’ll be ready to launch that new program or initiative in the fall.

How can you make your schools better?

Summer is a time to both reflect on the past and plan for the future. Look back at the previous school year, then decide what worked well and what was missing. During these summer months, you have plenty of time to set new goals and plan how you’re going to make the upcoming school year better than the last.

Gauge community interest with focus groups

After brainstorming new ideas, see what your community thinks of them. Stakeholder focus groups are a crucial part of the planning process, especially when big changes are in store for your district. You alone can’t decide what’s best for the students. Before launching a program or initiative, you should hear what stakeholders have to say.

Focus groups are your chance to gain valuable insight from the community. You get to hear their thoughts and opinions about your ideas. And, more importantly, you get to hear what they believe is best for your schools. While stakeholders aren’t making any final decisions, you want to at least make sure their vision for the district aligns with yours.

When summer rolls around, that’s your signal to start focusing on the big picture. For every new program and initiative, there should be a focus group to go along with it. When you seek stakeholder insight, you can head into the new school year knowing that you have the community’s support.

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