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Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

2011 December 13
by HISD Communications

Hearing directly from parents about their experiences with the district’s nearly 300 schools—whether good or bad—is essential to keeping the lines of communication open in HISD.

In October, I held a series of Community Conversations where I invited parents, students, staff, and community members to talk directly to me about their concerns and pose any questions they might have. Yesterday, a small group of parents and other community members and I kept the conversation going on a more intimate level at a luncheon held inside my conference room.

All those who were invited had attended one or more of the October Community Conversations and signed up to “win” a lunch with me. I’m not sure how much of a prize it was for them, but I do know the food was good and the company and conversation were even better. We talked about everything from the upcoming STAAR exams to the effect the state budget cuts have had on teachers and students. While a few had specific issues they wanted addressed by me, the majority of the group expressed many of the same concerns I have on a daily basis.

Koffey Smith wanted to know how HISD is ensuring that we have effective teachers in all the classrooms at Wheatley High School where her son is a freshman. HISD dad Vincent Sanders wanted to know what we are doing to close the achievement gap and increase parent involvement.

The answers I gave were not simple or clear cut, but the bottom line is that we as adults need to have high expectations for all HISD students—and do everything we can to ensure they graduate ready for college or a career. I appreciate the time that everyone took out of their busy day to come have lunch with me and speak openly about their experiences with HISD. During this holiday season, I am even more appreciative of the efforts of our parents and community members, who are working together to make a difference in the educational lives of our children. I can’t wait to see what the New Year brings!

See the video clip above to hear what Koffey and Vincent had to say about our lunch meeting.

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