Thursday, October 29, 2020

Carroll ISD Launches New Public Engagement Effort

Te-logo-fullThe Carroll Independent School District launched an online school community engagement process called Thoughtexchange on Tuesday, May 19.

School officials say they are excited to see the public given yet another opportunity to be an active participant in the public education process. Students, parents, employees and local taxpayers will be invited to give feedback about the past school year, any concerns they may have about the district and also their thoughts on the direction of Carroll ISD.

The timing, Superintendent David J. Faltys says, is perfect.

“We have had a large number of volunteers helping to develop a strategic plan since last fall,” Dr. Faltys said. “Our launch of Thoughtexchange coincides with our desire to listen and learn from the actively engaged members of the Carroll community. We want every student, staff member, parent and taxpayer to feel like they have a voice in the education we provide our Dragons.”

On Monday evening, school officials expect to hear a report on the ongoing work of the Strategic Planning Committee. This 39-member committee has been working to help update and develop a new mission, vision and goals for the district. More than 100 additional staff, parent and community volunteers have been meeting weekly since January as part of 11 Action Teams to address various strategic objectives identified in the Draft Plan.

Members of the Carroll School Board will hear the plan Monday night, just hours before the district offers the Thoughtexchange process as a way for local constituents to have a voice in the future direction of the school district. Officials say this new public engagement tool can be described best as an online virtual town hall meeting that encourages open and honest communication and promotes collaboration, the sharing and prioritizing of ideas.  

“In an effort to continue to improve education for our children, the district wants to hear the community’s perspectives, thoughts and learn their priorities,” said Dr. Faltys. “Thoughtexchange gives our internal and external audiences an opportunity to give us open and honest communication about our public school system. In addition, it encourages and promotes the transparency our Dragon families have come to expect from Carroll ISD.”

School officials said that parents, employees and local community leaders will receive an email invitation on Tuesday. The district would also like to hear from students and taxpayers who have a vested interest in the education offered in Carroll ISD.

If you are a CISD parent or employee, you will receive a direct Email explaining Thoughtexchange and providing a link to begin the process. Participants will have until May 31 to share their thoughts and opinions. If you are not already a CISD parent or employee, and would like to participate you can self-register here: http://southlakecarroll.thoughtexchange.com/invitation

There are three steps that the public will be invited to participate in:

  • Share – where respondents will answer open-ended questions about education in CISD schools
  • Star – where respondents can review ideas from other stakeholders and star the ideas they like best
  • Discover – where respondents can learn what is important to the community as a whole

The Share portion of Thoughtexchange will launch on May 19 and continue until 11 p.m. on Thursday, May 28. Beginning on June 1 and lasting until June 10, participants will be able to read thoughts shared by others and add “stars” to the comments in which they support and/or agree. The author of the posts will be completely anonymous to all participants and also to the school district.

“On behalf of the students we serve, thank you for taking the time to support the students in our District,” Dr. Faltys said. “We believe that by understanding your experiences and priorities, we will be able to improve our education system and better serve the needs of our students. Thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this important process.”

For more information about Thoughtexchange and Carroll ISD’s new public engagement process, contact the Board & Community Relations Department at 817-949-7080 or email julie.thannum@southlakecarroll.edu.