Here's the response I got from Chelsea Davis at School Perceptions when I asked about the reported participation rate for the survey.
Thanks for your patience on this issue as I was out of the office last week. To answer your question, the District’s postage order was for a total of 3,552 surveys. As of last Monday, 1,148 people had taken the survey, which is the 32.3% response rate we reported.
Because the District did not have an official community-wide mailing list, they used the US Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail program. This is a typical mailing format we recommend if a district does not have a mailing list. A number of extra surveys were available at the District Office for anyone who did not receive a survey or requested an additional for another eligible voter in their household.
I hope that helps.
(main) 262.644.4300 ext. 7003
319 East Washington St.
Slinger, WI 53086
She notes that an unspecified number of additional surveys were made available to people who requested one for each voter in the household, and the district had copies available. So this response rate is best case scenario, which I believe is still pretty good. In discussing matters with the CAC chair, she noted that they were targeting 400 surveys as the minimum acceptable response rate, and they got nearly three times that, so looked at in this way, it's a win all around. I don't know where the 4200 number came from that the Gazette used in their article, but it was good to get the data from the source.
Thanks to School Perceptions for their quick turnaround time on this question. Now to formulate more questions now that I have digested all the data!