Listening, learning from our students

Listening, learning from our students
Posted on 05/15/2019

 troxell column


Leander ISD values the feedback and input of our students, and we have worked hard to solicit both over the course of this school year. I have had conversations with students all over the district and greatly value their insight into their daily educational experience.

In partnership with our School and Community Relations team, I wrapped up our yearlong Student Voice initiative by asking our students a simple question: How can we better capture your thoughts and ideas in the future? As always, I was impressed and enlightened by their suggestions for better communication.

“(Create) something like Anonymous Alerts, but geared toward general input rather than immediate concerns,” one student wrote. “Like a website for reporting things that don’t require immediate attention like bathroom vandalism or sinks/hand dryers not working.”

“Even though our administrators have ‘open door’ policies that encourage open communication, it’s not always a safe place to share,” wrote another. “We need a safe platform to share what is really happening and how it affects us.”

It was heartening to see so many students advocate for their teachers. There is no finer teaching staff than the one we have in this district, and I was pleased to hear directly from many of them.

“More opportunities to share what is going on in my classroom every day,” one teacher wrote. “Letting others know the great things we are already doing will help us feel more heard.”

In all, 258 students (93 percent) and staff (7 percent) submitted or rated a total of 233 comments. Rutledge Elementary School, Vandegrift and Vista Ridge high schools had the highest number of participants.

I want to thank all the students who took part in our Student Voice activities this year. These first-person accounts are meaningful and validating to those of us who make the education of young people our life’s work. I have said many times that this is the finest generation of students I have seen come through public schools in my more than 30 years as an educator. Please know we remain committed to listening and learning from our students every day.