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Puyallup community joins in online conversation
Puyallup community joins in online conversation
Posted on 06/14/2018

Puyallup community joins in online conversation about the school district

What can the district improve? What are some things you appreciate? Those were the questions recently asked of parents, students, community members, and staff. In fact, anyone could respond to these questions. They were posed in a recent online conversation on the Puyallup School District’s new engagement tool called ThoughtExchange.

Top thoughts – the topics many people wanted to talk about included Leadership and Staff, Facilities, Learning Environment, Stakeholder Engagement, and Student Support. Over three thousand people participated in this activity between March 26 and April 6. It was the first time the entire Puyallup community had the chance to share thoughts online in this way.

“In an effort to hear more voices in the community, to elicit greater participation, and to increase the transparency of district improvement efforts, the Puyallup School District will be utilizing the ThoughtExchange product for all such information gathering processes,” says Superintendent Tim Yeomans. “Our Puyallup School Board holds the positive engagement of our community as one of its primary strategic initiatives.”

On the first page of a new website Dr. Yeomans thanks the parents and community members who took the time to share thousands of responses to the broad questions. You can find the new site on the PSD website. It’s called, “Join The Conversation” and can be found on the home page at Visitors will see the nearly 3,000 comments shared by 3,166 participants.

However, ThoughtExchange is not just a place for posting comments. Participants were given the chance to read other people’s comments and see what is important to them. After considering other thoughts, participants were given the chance to add up to five stars to those comments they felt most strongly about. In this way, the ideas most important to people rose to the surface and earned a higher ranking than others.

Results included comments of appreciation, like the following:

“I think our school district is very welcoming as we have a standard of being kinder than necessary. People want to be treated warmly and fairly.”

Results also included suggestions for change, like this comment:

“Importance of School Safety. Would like more communication on what PSD thoughts on school safety are and what they are doing to provide an environment where our children feel safe.”

On Monday, June 4, at their regularly scheduled board meeting, the PSD Board of Directors were presented with the data collected in this ThoughtExchange. Directors have access to all comments and can see how the results represent common topics of interest. Building principals are also able to use the data for planning – particularly in preparation for the 2018-19 school year.

As new opportunities arise, parents and community members are encouraged to participate in ThoughtExchange. To be prepared, parents should make sure their child’s school has a current email address. Watch for an email invitation to participate during the next process. Join the conversation!