BRADENTON -- The Manatee County School District climate survey -- required by Diana Greene's contract as superintendent -- was launched for all employees Wednesday through district email.
The survey has been a long time coming as the district struggled to gain and maintain public and employee trust after a financial meltdown in 2012.
After embattled Superintendent Rick Mills retired in April, the Manatee County School Board mandated a climate survey be completed by Sept. 1 as part of Greene's contract.
The email sent to all employees included a three-minute video welcoming them to the 2015-16 school year and asking them to fill out the survey.
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"Although this is a very hectic time, I am personally asking each of you to help our district by taking a few minutes of your time to fill out a special climate survey," Greene says in the video.
Greene brought in DeJong-Richter, an Ohio-based planning company, to help create, distribute and analyze the survey. The company was paid about $20,000.
A phone survey for a slice of county residents is also in the works.
District officials said they hope 100 percent of employees complete the survey. Employees who don't have access to the email system will be able to fill out a paper copy.
The employee survey is open until Aug. 26. Teachers and other employees report back to work Aug. 18, said district spokesman Mike Barber. The phone survey for hasn't started.
"We don't want to influence the survey in anyway," Barber said, encouraging employees to fill out the survey honestly.
Survey results are anonymous.
"We want to make sure your thoughts and opinions are represented in the survey," Pat Barber, head of the Manatee Education Association, said in the video. "The results of the survey are going to be taken very seriously and will help determine where the school district will focus its time, people and resources in the future."
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.
Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.