Families with students currently enrolled in the Leavenworth School District had an opportunity to meet with their child's teachers during parent-teacher conferences last week.

Families with students currently enrolled in the Leavenworth School District had an opportunity to meet with their child's teachers during parent-teacher conferences last week. In addition, parents were also given a survey to share feedback with school leaders.

Soliciting data via surveys is a regular practice of many organizations to facilitate data-driven decisions, though it doesn't always tell a complete story of existing opinions and experiences.
Leaders and decision-makers within a school district, including board of education members, superintendents of schools, building principals, and administrators, are often the first to hear from those who have a need to share a problem, unique challenge, frustration, or negative experience. It is then the responsibility of district leadership to address the issue and attempt to provide an agreeable solution, or share information to offer context and enhance situational understanding.

On the other hand, those with a compliment or positive story to share, don't always have the same passionate need to tell others. In this way, schools can be similar to a restaurant. If a customer's meal comes out wrong, cold, or just bad tasting – it might be sent back to the kitchen. If the customer is upset or offended enough, they may also ask to speak to the manager. This single below-average dining experience might then be shared with any number of friends, neighbors, and relatives. Yet how many diners have a favorite restaurant, patronized as often as weekly, that don't take the same time and energy to tell the manager and others how much they routinely enjoy their food and service?

One of the Leavenworth Board of Education's ongoing goals is to improve collaboration and community engagement of our school district. Every school in the district understands the importance of building and strengthening relationships within the community. That commitment can be reinforced, and more precisely directed, when the school district is equally aware and informed of positive feedback, as well as critiques and complaints. One of the great things about Leavenworth is the community's ability and willingness to speak their minds, on any given topic.

Leavenworth Public Schools wants, and needs, to hear from you. Voices can choose to be anonymous, and can do so by emailing contactus@usd453.org, or dropping a letter to Leavenworth Unified School District 453, 200 North 4th Street, Leavenworth, KS, 66048, Attention: Patron Feedback.

Even more powerful and effective though, is connecting a name and contact information to comments. This allows follow-up by the appropriate individual to best answer a question or provide direct response to a concern.

But in addition to questions or concerns, community members should not underestimate the importance of sharing thoughts and experiences summarizing a positive experience. These stories can highlight the efforts of one specific individual during a single moment in time, or span several years of interactions with multiple staff members and/or students.

Another great avenue for providing school-related thoughts is by "liking" the district's Facebook page – Leavenworth USD 453, and posting a note online. Feedback received will be shared with USD 453 staff, and may also be included in a future Pioneer Pride article submission to the Times. Thank you in advance to anyone willing to share their stories and perspectives, and for working in collaboration with the Leavenworth Unified School District.
Pioneer Pride submitted by the Leavenworth School District.