The educational leadership of Dalton and Whitfield County schools want to learn what you think about the quality of local public education. Your feedback helps us refine the services our students need to succeed. We not only strive to be responsive to the community’s needs, we try to be proactive and seek every opportunity to learn from your collective wisdom.

The University of Georgia Archway Partnership has designed a survey to help us collect information from the community to meet two key objectives: 1) to see if the community feels we are succeeding in our mission to prepare students for their futures, and 2) to learn what criteria help you evaluate the performance of our school systems.

The survey is available online through Wednesday, Dec. 19, at and in print at any of the Dalton or Whitfield County schools. The survey — available in English and Spanish — is brief. We hope you invest five minutes to help our community and educational leaders establish a baseline of public perception of our schools. The Archway Partnership will share the survey results to help us build a common plan to transform schools in our community.

Soon, both school systems will host a series of conversations with the community about key issues in education. It is imperative that we begin a dialogue with you — our stakeholders — to determine how we can better work together to transform our schools. Before we begin that process, we want to understand your perception of education in our community.

We are not just asking for feedback from parents with kids in schools or school staff members. The most effective results must come from everyone. We must hear from those of you with no children in school, senior citizens in our community, young professionals, alumni, business leaders, church members, volunteers and other residents of Whitfield County.

The quality of life in a community is a direct reflection of the quality of the education available to its students, and public education is the key to our community’s success. Economic development depends heavily on the availability of a qualified workforce and all of us have a vested interest in providing the best education possible for all students in Dalton and Whitfield County.

We believe we are blessed to live in a community with two outstanding school districts. Our children have every opportunity to pursue their dreams and reach their highest potential.

Louis Fordham, chairman, Whitfield County Board of Education

Danny Crutchfield, chairman, Dalton Board of Education