The Carlton and Wrenshall school boards are surveying all district residents in coming weeks regarding school district consolidation and a facility plan that could be implemented should the two districts become one.

"Both school districts have significant facility needs and residents from both districts have been encouraging the school systems to explore consolidation," Carlton Superintendent Gwen Carman and Wrenshall Superintendent Kimberly Belcastro said in a news release Friday, Dec. 20.

The survey will ask residents to weigh in on consolidation as well as a proposed two-site consolidated school option that leaves one school open in each district.

“Our goal in conducting the survey is to get the feedback from both of our communities,” Carman said in the release. “This is an important decision that will impact our districts for decades, so we want to ensure that every citizen has a voice in the process.”

To assist with data gathering efforts, the school boards are working with School Perceptions LLC, an independent firm with expertise in conducting school district surveys. All survey data is returned to School Perceptions and all responses will remain anonymous.

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Every household will be mailed a paper survey the week of Jan. 6. Residents can either complete the paper survey and mail it back to School Perceptions in the envelope provided or take the survey online at the website provided in the survey.

Carman told the Pine Journal that the survey will also be available to staff from each district and for parents of students who open-enroll in either district.

“People who take the survey will identify which group they belong to so the data can be analyzed accordingly,” she said.

The survey data is regulated by a survey access code that is provided on the mailed survey. If a household would like a second survey for another adult in their household, they must call their district office and a second survey will be mailed.

“The survey will help us to quantify the level of support we have in each community for the proposed plan. This is important data for both school boards as we plan for the future,” Belcastro stated in the release.

This story was updated at 8:52 a.m. Dec. 24. It was originally posted at 11:21 a.m. Dec. 23.