To: Washington Township Schools (WTS) Community
From: WTS School Board & Administration
Re: Important Information About Misleading Outreach to WTS Stakeholders
Out of respect for the integrity of our district and all Indiana traditional public schools, it is our responsibility to inform stakeholders receiving invitations to participate in surveys and focus groups with promises of cash payments that these tactics are not being hosted by Washington Township Schools. Rather, these conversations are being held in an effort to manipulate our stakeholders by misleading them about the true intent of these meetings. Washington Township Schools does not implement or endorse unethical practices that mislead parents and stakeholders. A national effort has been afoot in the past decade to prey upon Title I Schools in an effort to profit off schools with complex student populations.
We continue to have an increase in concerned stakeholders contacting us about communications they are receiving from misleading emails and social media posts requesting our community members participate in surveys and focus groups. If approached, we recommend that you ask the following questions of the person conducting outreach:
- Do you personally live in Washington Township?
- Who is endorsing this survey/focus group? How can I reach them by phone?
- Who is funding the cash payments promised to participants?
- What organization is involved with this and how did they get my name?
- What is the purpose of this request of stakeholders?
- How will information be used?
- Are you working with our Washington Township Schools staff or School Board? If so, who is your contact with the District?
As a reminder to our Washington Township stakeholders, school leadership and district leadership are always willing to confirm requests for information and provide you with a layer of protection from being engaged in these types of manipulative tactics. Additionally, members of our community organizations are a wonderful resource for support and confirmation of the official collection of stakeholder feedback for the benefit of our Washington Township Schools. Two such trusted organizations are the Washington Township Parent Council Network and the Foundation for Washington Township Schools.
We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our Washington Township community supporters. Your dedication to protecting the District, our students and staff, and our community-at-large has never been more important. Your support of the 2016 and 2020 referenda are part of the reason that our teachers and staff are being fairly compensated; educational equity is being demonstrated each day; and we are making capital investments in our buildings and facilities to meet the needs of this and future generations of Washington Township residents.