Comprehensive Listening Builds Community Support

Maintaining community support and funding for public schools can be a real challenge in uncertain economic times. The leadership team at Bay Village Schools was facing an important bond election and needed to upgrade their survey and communication tools to ensure they would be able to gain the support they needed. Otherwise, it would be a significant challenge to maintain the funding required to continue to deliver the high standard of education their community expects.

Bay Village Schools

The Bay Village City School District serves 2,500 students in a suburban residential community in Cuyahoga County just 20 miles west of Cleveland on the shore of Lake Erie. The school district ranks among the best of public school districts in all of Ohio. Student performance ranks in the top 5-6% of all districts in the state.

The Challenge

The school district needed to be able to effectively communicate with the entire community and gather a full range of opinions and viewpoints leading up to an important bond election for education funding.

As they began planning for the bond election, the team knew that less than 30% of registered voters had children currently attending school in the district. While schools are supported by the tax dollars of all residents, the district needed to remind citizens that quality schools add value to the entire community. Plus, reaching out directly to all residents might be a challenge, but it was critical to hear from everyone. Bay Village Schools needed a survey tool that would provide them multiple means of distribution as well as assurances that special interest groups would not “stuff the ballot box”.

The Solution

Sogo offered the school district the platform they needed, including capabilities that allowed them to reach all stakeholders and gather the collective voice of the community. The district team now had the confidence to confirm their budget needs and ask the voters for the tax increase they needed to deliver the education priorities their constituents require.


“Using Sogo created an opportunity for 2-way communication with our community.”

Karen Derby ·Communications Director, Bay Village Schools

The Highlights


The district could easily distribute the survey to households with students attending the schools via email, but they were also able to mail out invitations with unique survey access codes to households without children and maintain the integrity of the results. The responses allowed a complete picture, clarifying the way the entire community views and values education.


In addition to important communications with the community, the school district also uses Sogo to create surveys for their staff as well. Administrators found it easy to customize the appearance and layout and create surveys that were engaging and informative. As Communications Director Karen Derby puts it, “Sogo has met all of my needs. It makes it very easy to communicate with our staff.”


Sogo’s advanced branching and skip logic options allowed the team to design well-thought-out surveys that incorporated all the possible paths of participants. This capability played a key role in obtaining valuable data collected from the community survey, resulting in 60% of constituents ultimately voting in favor of the bond measure supporting the district.

Bay Village Schools needed a survey tool that would provide them multiple means of distribution as well as assurances that special interest groups would not “stuff the ballot box”.

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