The relationship between selected school district characteristics and planning styles for year-round education
Little information is available which describes the planning processes used by public school districts and how these processes may be related to selected school district characteristics. It was the purpose of this study, therefore, to explore the planning processes of school districts, using year-round education as a vehicle. The two specific objectives of the study were to (1) determine actual and ideal planning styles for year-round education; and (2) determine relationships between the actual and ideal styles and size of district, racial composition of district, number of different referent groups involved in the planning process, length of planning time, amount of budget for planning, individual or group who assumed primary responsibility for planning, type of year-round calendar, and primary goal established for the year-round program.
A population of thirty-seven school districts with operational year-round programs in the United States was sent a questionnaire to obtain information on (1) selected school district characteristics; and (2) planning procedures these districts used and would recommend for use in planning for year-round education.
Actual and ideal planning styles for year-round education were determined by applying hierarchical grouping to the districts' responses to 156 planning procedures. Three actual and four ideal planning styles were identified. The actual styles were entitled "Systematic," "Nonsystematic," and "Systematic Financial and Facilities." It was found that the actual planning styles were associated with size of district, wealth of district, amount of budget for planning, type of year-round calendar, and individual or group who assumed primary responsibility for planning. The ideal styles were entitled "Comprehensive Systematic," "Anti-Behavioral Objective Systematic," and "Provincial Systematic." One of the ideal styles did not provide useful information because of its unique characteristics and was not named. The ideal styles were associated with size of district, wealth of district, amount of budget for planning, individual or group who assumed primary responsibility for planning, and primary goal established for year-round education.
Overall, the planning of the districts did not reflect use of all the concepts of a systematic planning process identified in the professional literature. However, the systematic planning process was a functional method of describing the actual planning procedures used by the districts and for identifying the type of planning they would recommend.