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ThoughtExchange: Bond Conversation Results

Valley Central School District held a  forum for a two week period after the Traffic, Safety and STEAM Bond failed by a close margin with only a 30 vote difference between the no and yes vote.  The district wanted to use the online forum to give the community an opportunity to weigh in on the vote and the project.  


There were 277 participants in the anonymous forum in which participants can share thoughts, in this case 313 thoughts were shared.  And then they can rate the thoughts in the exchange on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how they agree or disagree. There were 8,495 ratings of thoughts. 


The forum asked three demographic questions: 1) what was the relationship of the participant to the district; 2) what town the participant was resident in and 3) how the participant voted, if they voted. 

  1.  67% of participants were parent/guardian, 22% community members and 9% were staff.
  2. 75%  of participants were Town of Montgomery.  Residents of the Towns of Newburgh and Crawford made up 15% with the other three towns making up about 5%. 
  3. 49% of participants said they voted yes, 32% said they voted no and 19% preferred not to say.

The Thoughtexchange was themed by topic and then analyzed by the greatest number of thoughts.  Two areas stood out in the ThoughtExchange; safety and information that comprised 34% of the total thoughts in the exchange. On the topic of safety there was a clear message- that the Bond should have focused on safety and safety alone. Some respondents said they would have voted for the bond if it was only safety without the other “extras” as they perceived them.  

The thoughts about information expressed anger at the mistake that was made in the published flyer and the brevity of time between the announcement of the vote and the vote itself. There are a number of thoughts that point to the timing of the vote, late August, is a factor in the vote not getting the number of votes needed to pass. 

LINK TO THE REPORT generated by Thought Exchange