Master Facilities Data ThoughtExchange

Lakota Listens: Community Shares Feedback about Facilities
Posted on 02/15/2020
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Adults and teenagers talking at tablesImmediately following the first Master Facilities community meeting on Jan. 28, Lakota Local Schools launched a ThoughtExchange online survey to gather feedback about the data shared. 


Superintendent Matthew Miller and Chief Operations Officer Chris Passarge shared enrollment projections for the next 10 years and the age and condition of Lakota’s 23 school buildings to a packed house at Hopewell Junior School. For those unable to attend, the meeting was shared via YouTube and social media in its entirety. An abbreviated video, which included the same data, was linked to the survey for participants to review.

  

Community members were asked, “After hearing information we have gathered about enrollment projections and the condition of our facilities, what are your key takeaways and what concerns do you have?” And they answered.


More than 600 people participated in the exchange, which was open from Jan. 28 - Feb. 11. ThoughtExchange is a unique platform the district is utilizing to gather feedback from parents, staff, students and community members on a wide-range of topics, including the Master Facilities Plan. “We value our community’s input when making decisions that will affect the entire district,” said Miller. “ThoughtExchange is an additional vehicle we are using to gather feedback because we want to be able to give our parents, students, staff and community members many options to share their thoughts.”


The 340 individual thoughts shared received more than 13,800 ratings. Participants have the opportunity to use a star rating system to share whether they agree or disagree with other participants' thoughts. “ThoughtExchange allows our community members to share their feedback even if they are unable to attend the meetings,” Miller said.


Top rated thoughts include a request for continued transparency and consistent communication about the process, teachers seeing the need for learning spaces that best meet the needs of the students and the need for equity among the schools. Thoughts about fiscal responsibility, including potential funding, class sizes and long-term sustainability were also shared. The facilities committee will take the community’s feedback into consideration as it moves through the planning process.


During the month of February, several focus groups met with educational visionary expert Tracey Richter to discuss how facilities support education, both now and into the future. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission requires districts that are participating in the Expedited Local Partnership Agreement to use a visionary consultant during the process. Richter led students, staff members, parents district and business leaders and government officials through several exercises to get a sense of what type of education the community wants for its students. The findings of these sessions will be shared at the next community meeting on Feb. 26 at the West Freshman building’s Innovation Hub. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.


Click here to view the survey results from this ThoughtExchange.