As the conversation around social injustice and systemic inequity intensifies, school communities will need to share where they stand on these very important issues, especially when it comes to what changes can be made to make our local and national education systems more equitable. More importantly though, schools should be actively listening to the opinions, suggestions, and concerns of their communities.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to create your own deep listening channel in Let’s Talk!:

  1. Create a new Interest Area
  2. Some districts have titled this “Open Forum 2020”, “Speak Up [District Name]”,  “Moving Forward”, “Share Your Story”.

  3. Include a form message at the top of the dialogue form to share your purpose.
  4. Example text: [District Name] is fiercely committed to the principle of equal justice and education for all and will join our community in reflection, conversation and action to make a positive difference in the lives of all our students. We have provided an open forum for you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback about how we can continue with this mission.

  5. Update the on-screen and email thank you messages for your interest area to inform your community how you intend to use the messages you receive.
  6. Example text: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Usually we work to respond in 48 hours, however we recognize that in this moment it is imperative that we listen. We will be reviewing all submitted feedback and using it to structure our new equity plan. Our community feedback is essential to the success of our district. We are honored to continue to serve you.

  7. As the team receives/reviews these dialogues, they can decide to:
    1. Bulk close them WITHOUT sending the customer experience feedback form (if the goal is to listen and not respond at this time); or
    2. Respond to them if they feel a direct response is warranted.

  8. Promote! To let your community know you are listening on this topic, we suggest sending a campaign in the Campaign Manager. We’ve created a template for you to get started called SPEAK UP. 

  9. You may also decide to share a letter from the superintendent about the district’s deep listening campaign, including the direct link to the Interest Area you created. Here is an example from Tuscaloosa City Schools. Additionally, we suggest sharing on social media.

  10. Use Tags to help you analyze the themes of the messages your community is sharing during this deep listening period as you work to develop a plan for moving forward.

 

Check out this blog post to read more about how other districts have used Let’s Talk! to listen deeply.