Waxahachie ISD wants to know what you think

Chris Roark
Waxahachie Daily Light

Waxahachie ISD is about to embark on an in-depth community feedback process to help develop core values that will be used to make key decisions going forward.

The district is partnering with business solutions company CSG to lead the effort. Monday, CSG representative Blake Godkin described the process to the WISD Board of Trustees and explained why digging deep for input is so important.  

“It really starts with the idea of listening first,” Godkin said. “The ultimate goal is to help define and refine the core values for this district and then set you up to be able to make decisions.”

Godkin said core values will shape the set of rules used to form a strategy going forward.

“It is fueled by your most inexhaustible resources of innovation,” Godkin said. “And that’s the voices of your community.”

Superintendent Jerry Hollingsworth said a kick-off event will take place Tuesday in the cafeteria at Waxahachie High School and that everyone in the community is invited. Times are 6-6:30 p.m., 6:45-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8 p.m.

“We have three different time slots available for families because we really want folks to come out,” Hollingsworth said.

Godkin said the process will include a community-wide survey, which will be available at Tuesday’s meeting.

“It is not a community satisfaction survey for the district,” Godkin said. “This is an opportunity to ask open-ended questions of your community about their values for education, what they expect to happen in regards to public education, roadblocks getting in their way to meet those expectations and what they expect for the future and how they expect Waxahachie ISD to impact them and the rest of the community.”

Godkin said CSG will also conduct 60 in-depth interviews with students, parents, teachers, staff and community members.

“These interviews will allow us to really dig in and find out the why behind some of those responses,” Godkin said.

A summary of the common themes from those interviews will then be presented to a student focus group. A community-wide group will then participate in a core values design and vision statement workshop using those responses as a guide.

Godkin said that group will later advocate for those core values to help in decision making going forward.

He said Coppell ISD in Dallas County used the same process and developed four core values used to make decisions – engagement, great teaching, relationships and success.

Godkin said the whole process would take approximately 60 days.

Entrance plan

Hollingsworth updated the board on his efforts to move forward with an entrance plan to hear the thoughts of various stakeholders in the district.

Hollingsworth said part of his entry plan is to have “getting to know you” meetings with all principals, his cabinet members and district-level directors.

He said the plan will be expanded to include community and civic outreach meetings with the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, Ellis County Retired Teachers and Education Foundation. Hollingsworth said he plans to have coffee with area leaders across the district.

Hollingsworth said there will also be “lunch and listen” sessions on each campus.

“We’ll go to all 16 campuses during their lunch times so that I get that opportunity to meet with teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff,” Hollingsworth said.

“We have a lot of great folks who love Waxahachie ISD and a lot of great leaders who have big dreams for our district,” Hollingsworth said.