What did you do in practice?
The idea for “fireside chats" came from brainstorming. We asked ourselves: What is something different from what is already done? What can we pull off quickly and easily? Initially we thought about a bonfire and realized that making our event more intimate was a better idea. Partnering with the fire/EMS, we had 6 fire pits in the high school parking lot. Parents joined one of the chats alongside teachers and administrators. The fire/EMS supports even formed a group. We had a separate chat for middle schoolers and one for high school kids. We had a great community conversation!
Why did you do this implementation trial?
People overall have had a positive experience with the district, but many hidden things had started to surface...some came out through earlier empathy interviews but more through 10 coffee chats we had hosted in various locations accessible to parents. Attendance was initially low, which was discouraging, but we had great conversations with the people who came. We have seen those who attended the coffee talks come back for future events, with our attendance increasing each time! It was the start of building trust.