Superintendent's Message, February 2015

  • Dr. Cohn
    Dear Everett Public Schools community members:

    In January, 50 thousand district residents, parents, students and staff were sent invitations to participate in an online Thoughtexchange conversation about our schools and our district. Over 1,700 people responded to invitations. On February 11, Thoughtexchange sent a second round of invitations for district residents, parents, students and staff to “Join the Conversation.”

    This series of online conversations is the most recent of our community engagement projects over the last few years, which have including several summer symposiums, school board “community conversations,” and strategic planning events.

    What is Thoughtexchange? What are these “phases?”

    Thoughtexchange is a company that designed a way for thousands of people to respond to open-ended questions, and then engage people in “discussing” those responses. The invitation to submit comments was Phase 1 of the “Join the Conversation” process that opened on January 17. Participants contributed more than 6,000 comments!

    Phase 2 lets you review the comments others made and “star” the ones you like or agree with the most. During Phase 3, Thoughtexchange collates the most popular comments, based upon the star review, and organizes them by school and district on a Thoughtexchange website that will be live in March.
    How can you participate?
    1. Respond to a Thoughtexchange email invitation. Thoughtexchange sent invitations on behalf of school principals and the district, so you may see a principal’s name on the invitation.
    2. Sign up for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 by registering online.
    Is this process flexible?
    Yes: Phase 2 gives you lots of time to think about others’ responses. You can go back and forth through the pages of comments, and you can move your stars around. Even after you hit the “submit” button at the end of the process, you can go back to change your stars before 11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22, using the link in your original Phase 2 email invitation.

    Thanks you to all who took time to share thoughts and suggestions in Phase 1! I look forward to seeing even more people reflect and evaluate those thoughts in Phase 2. When Phase 3 information is available in March, we will all have a clearer picture of what our community believes is important in our district and our schools.

    I hope you will Join the Conversation!

    Gary Cohn,