ACTON — A proposed $13,500 “secret shopper” contract with SchoolMint, a Louisiana-based provider of strategic enrollment management, could get a second chance before the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District Board of Education after the contract did not pass or fail during a special Wednesday night meeting.
Board President Kelly Jensen and Vice President Tim Jorgensen were absent from the meeting. The date was changed due to the regular Board meeting falling on the Veterans Day holiday.
SchoolMint’s strategic enrollment management for K-12 helps districts attract, enroll and retain students, according to the company’s proposal. SchoolMint’s proposed secret shoppers would analyze the marketing and in-person tour experience of the District’s three schools.
According to the proposal, a SchoolMint consultant takes on the persona of a prospective family who is seeking to enroll at a district school.
The consultant’s analysis includes how easy it was to find the school through an unbranded Google search; the school’s digital reputation within online review sites; the quality of the school’s social media accounts; the customer service experience; and the quality of the school tour.
Trustee Brianna Taksony and Clerk Chad Wadsworth voted against the proposal; Trustee Ken Pfalzgraf abstained.
“I feel like this puts seven people in our district under a microscope,” Taksony said.
Taksony added she would like to see the $13,500 for the proposed contract go toward professional development for the seven employees. She added they should get training on the standards of the district and what they would like to see from them.
She added why send someone to a district school to see if they are doing it right “when we’ve never told them, ‘What is the right way?’ ”
“In all honesty, our front office staff does not get the training that it should,” she said.
Superintendent Eric Sahakian said professional development is important.
“We have in mind for a formal professional development that would encompass all classifications, certificated and classified, and not targeting one specific classification,” Sahakian said.
Pfalzgraf suggested the proposal be tabled and reintroduced before the full board in the future. He also asked that Taksony’s concerns be addressed.
“Tabling it,” Wadsworth said.