Patron Insight

Our services have different functions, but one goal: To give school districts the information they need to make the best decision. Whether it’s what to place on a ballot issue, how to communicate more effectively, or charting the most strategic course for your district, Patron Insight offers the unbiased counsel you want. Our core services are:


Success at the ballot box comes from understanding what a cross-section of stakeholders thinks about the district, its potential ballot ideas (and their cost) and who they trust for district news. Our research uncovers that data, and more.

  • Completion of a statistically reliable, random telephone survey (landlines and cell phone numbers) of residents
  • Companion online surveys for the community and district staff
  • Analysis of data, including detailed information about the opinions of specific demographic groups
  • A comprehensive report of findings and recommendations, presented to the Board of Education

The process takes four to six weeks, and the all-inclusive service fees are $16,300.

To chart a course for improvement at the building level, you need reliable data that pinpoints the strengths and challenges. Our climate studies break down all the key quality-of-life issues in each school building, helping you separate rumor from fact.

  • Creation of data-driven, online survey for key audiences (typically staff, parents, or students, or a combination)
  • District distribution of survey, using provided announcement and “reminder” language to improve the count of replies
  • Complete analysis of data for each audience and each building
  • Presentation of a report of findings

The process typically takes two to four weeks, depending on the district’s calendar. Fees for survey design are $2,500 for up to three audiences (staff, parents, students). Fees for analysis are based on the number of buildings/audiences and are negotiated in advance with the district.

CitizensAdvisoryOngoing committees comprised of a cross-section of residents offer districts an opportunity to hear opinions, float trial balloons, and educate residents – who share their experiences with others.

  • Assist the district with identifying demographic characteristics ideal for a Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Create agendas and facilitate monthly meetings
  • Conduct online follow-up study with CAC members after each meeting, to offer an additional input opportunity
  • Provide written report on meeting (and follow-up research) results
  • Offer ongoing counsel with district leadership about meeting topics

Committee development and six monthly meetings are included, and the service fees are $8,500. Fees for additional meetings, if requested, are negotiated individually.

ProgramEvaluationsIt can sometimes be beneficial to have a neutral, third party assist with determining program fidelity to established processes, appropriateness for the intended audience, and excellence of implementation. Patron Insight offers such a service, with as much (or as little) involvement as you wish.

  • Collaboration with school district leadership to identify areas where third-party review and analysis would be beneficial
  • Potential involvement includes areas such as: Assimilation of existing documentation on infrastructure, goals, etc.; online research with key stakeholder groups for the specific program; review of existing metrics; and interview and observations
  • Statistical researchers and public education professionals available, as needed, to complete the review
  • A report of findings and recommendations

The length of the process depends on the level of desired involvement, but it is typically four to eight weeks. Fees range from $4,250 to $8,700, depending on scope.

CommunicationAuditsSchool districts have three different types of messages: What they are saying, what they think they are saying, and what is actually being heard by the target audience. Our communication audit process provides the information that helps school districts close the gaps and improve their communication effectiveness.

  • A review of 12 months of outbound communications, to identify key themes
  • “Deep dive” interviews with Cabinet, Board members and key staff
  • Up to 20 interviews with Key Opinion Leaders in the community
  • Three focus groups with community members
  • Staff and parent online surveys
  • Creation of a report detailing the gaps, and presenting strategies and tactics to increase communication effectiveness

The process typically takes four to six weeks, and the all-inclusive service fees are $9,600.

StrategicPlanningOur strategic planning process engages all the key stakeholder groups to develop a shared set of goals, and an action plan to accomplish them.

  • Guidance on creating an effective, district-wide planning committee
  • Leadership “deep dive” interviews with the Board and Cabinet
  • Research with residents (statistically reliable telephone survey) and staff (online survey)
  • Four focus groups with a cross-section of district patrons
  • Facilitation of four planning committee meetings, to work through the challenges and opportunities
  • Creation of a written Strategic Plan and presentation to the Board of Education

The process takes approximately 90 days, and the all-inclusive service fees are $27,300.