The following process is being followed to conduct the High School Site Selection and Community Engagement.

I. Opinion Research


Fallon Research will conduct diagnostic research in two ways. The first way is to engage in a focus group process by working with the District to develop criteria and questions that will be asked of two separate focus groups. Sample topics may include: participants feelings about District effectiveness or transparency, past & future ballot issues, among others. The results of these focus groups will be qualitative data in the form of a summary and transcript of these 2 90 minute conversations with the focus groups. There will be two focus groups: one comprised of parents and the second group will be comprised of non-parents. The results of these focus groups will be used to conduct the second phase of the diagnostic research, the quantitative phone poll.

Those who participate in the phone poll will be a representative sample of the community, ie. Race, gender, age, etc. The majority of the questions will be close ended and allow for quantifiable results. The results of this diagnostic phone poll will enable the District to define the operating parameters for future planning initiatives and to how engage different segments of the population that may be under or over represented.

II. Data Analysis


DeJONG RICHTER develops, gathers, reviews, and summarizes key documents and data, including (but not limited to) financial and budget information, historic enrollment data, demographics, analysis of facilities, Geographic Information Systems, and community relations profile.

Enrollment Projections

The DeJONG-RICHTER team is currently using a custom-designed forecasting model to develop ten year enrollment projections. In developing the projections, we are able to enter data and configure the projections at a district-wide level, by geographical area, and by individual facility. The steps involved include data collection and enrollment projection development. With cooperation from the District, DeJONG-RICHTER is collecting historical enrollment figures, birth data, housing development and real estate data, and U.S. Census data. DeJONG-RICHTER will analyze the data, enter the information into the projection model and develop high, moderate, and low projections. These take into account issues such as rate of growth or decline and recent economic developments. The information will be reviewed and incorporated into the report.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

DeJONG RICHTER will use GIS to develop a District wide demographic profile. This will include items such as:

  • Historic student density/concentration
  • Neighborhood yield analysis
  • Ethnicity & socioeconomic identification
  • Closest school analysis with utilization study

DeJONG RICHTER will incorporate District busing parameters so that transportation impacts can be taken into consideration in the options development process. Using GIS DeJONG RICHTER will be able to model the demographic impacts of any potential facility option.

Facilities Assessment

DeJONG RICHTER will work with the Champaign Unit 4 School District to ensure we are gathering the most current facilities data. A fact sheet will be created for each facility including but not limited to square footage, acreage, site size, and enrollment vs. capacity.

III. Steering Committee Meetings & Communication Strategies


A Steering Committee facilitates the development and implementation of the process. The Committee represents a broad cross-section of school and non-school members of the community. The Steering Committee meets several times throughout the process and will include representatives from all school facilities.

  • Parents
  • School Staff
  • Administrators
  • School Board members
  • Community/Civic organizations (e.g. NAACP, Rotary, etc.)
  • Business organizations
  • Higher education
  • Students
  • Municipal, township, and/or county government
  • Others to be determined

The role of the Steering Committee is to provide community representation throughout the process. Responsibilities include review of draft reports, publicity and communication to the general community, review of community forum results, and development of options and recommendations to the School Board. The Committee is not responsible for the final decision in the process.

This Steering Committee and the website functions as a transparent portal in which all data and materials related to the process are disseminated to the community.

The steering committee will be responsible for determining effective communications tools specific to the needs of the Champaign community. The committee forms an outreach sub-committee specifically focused on preparing and disseminating messaging for this process.

DeJONG RICHTER provides proven methods of communications and the support to implement. Effective means of communication that have been previously used include:

  • Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • District automated phone messaging system
  • Project Website
  • Opinion Research Surveys
  • Web Based Community Forums and Bulletin Boards
  • Traditional paper fliers
  • Local Churches
  • Supermarkets
  • Recreation Centers
  • Parent Teacher Organizations
  • Athletic Boosters
  • Prepared messaging from District leadership to local civic organizations, etc.

IV. Educational Futures Conference: Establish Educational Framework


The educational framework is a set of parameters that establishes the planning guidelines for this process. DeJONG-RICHTER will coordinate with the Educational Programming Team to insure that all of the previous work completed is part of the discussion. The Educational framework can include issues that influence the future of education in the District and can include topic areas such as:

  • School Size
  • Grade Configuration
  • Small Learning Communities
  • Magnet Programs
  • Year-Round Schools
  • Renovation Standards

Each district’s educational framework is unique. The topics used for Champaign Schools are determined by the results from the Educational Futures Conference, input from the Steering Committee, and internal District input.

The output from this framework discussion will be reported and given to the Steering Committee for options development.

V. Options Development


Facility options are developed from the data collected and input gathered from the facility information review, educational framework work session, GIS, cost estimates, and community input. Appropriate costs associated with options are also developed and are based on cost estimates of the scope of work determined by recent local school construction. In conjunction with the District and the Steering Committee, DeJONG-RICHTER develops the options before presenting them to the community. These options identify the basic scope of the renovations, replacements, additions, new construction, and closures / consolidations, as well as macro costs.

Options Packet

An options packet is developed and provided to all attendees at a Community Forum. The options packet includes all pertinent planning data and describes each option including basic project scope and cost.

Community Dialogue

Participants will receive a background information report which includes the options and be brought up to date on the process. During this forum, individual participants and small groups will rate/rank each of the facility options, and develop an individual as well as a collective response of the preferred option(s). Each steering committee member will be facilitating the small group discussions. At the conclusion of the forum, results are posted on wall charts and all questionnaires are collected and tallied. A web questionnaire is available online for anyone not able to attend this meeting.

VI. Recommendations


The Steering Committee will meet to review the results of the community forum and develop recommendations to the Superintendent. The Board of Education is ultimately responsible for making any final decisions. Proposed strategies and timelines for accomplishing the identified recommendations will be presented.

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