Every day the board of education and administrators make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of our students. We rely on feedback from those scholars, their families and our staff to ensure that our decisions are wise. We recognize that our stakeholders have valuable insight into what is effective and what is not. Our decisions cannot be made in isolation. Input is appreciated.
As part of this ongoing, open dialogue, our district leaders like to talk face-to-face with our students. Recently, Patrick Mapes, acting superintendent, and Robert Bohannon, assistant superintendent for career preparation, arranged two working lunches with students at Perry Meridian and Southport high schools.
Students who represented all grade levels were able to speak freely about their high school journeys. They were able to talk about their positive experience and provide constructive feedback to help us make improvements for years to come. Students were encouraged to be honest about their hopes and dreams for the district, as well as their concerns. Our leaders vowed to listen without judgment.
Our scholars talked to us about the transition from eighth grade to high school, including the aspects that made them feel at ease, as well as the parts that shook their confidence.
Then they provided insights to help make everyone feel comfortable as they learn the lay of the land in their new high school. We brainstormed unique ways to mentor middle school students and prepare them for the adventure of high school in terms of academics, extracurricular activities and social engagement. We want everyone to feel secure exploring their options when they arrive in our schools. We are proud to be a district of diversity and inclusion.
The seniors also described the support they received in filling out college and scholarship applications. They talked about researching career options in addition to their higher education plans. They expressed interest in learning about skills and certification opportunities available to supplement college education. They are taking a comprehensive approach to planning their paths.
It was inspiring to see such well-rounded students making thoughtful decisions about their futures. Their feedback reaffirmed what we already knew: The future is in good hands and our students are destined to go far. Conversations such as these help build a better district for our community – now and for the future.