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How To Conduct a Listening Tour

A school district listening tour is an effective way for a school district to show it is responsive to the needs and strengths of students and families.

How To Conduct a Listening Tour in Your District, and Have it Be Effective

Today’s district leaders are faced with many challenges that impact trust within their communities. 

Divisive politics. Misinformation. Declining enrollment. Teacher attrition. 

In the midst of chaos, highly successful superintendents have one trait in common: their willingness to listen — especially in challenging times.  

A well-executed listening tour is one strategy superintendents can use to uplevel their leadership and help them make better informed decisions to support students, families, and staff. 

What is a listening tour?

A listening tour is a series of facilitated discussions with key constituents aimed at collecting valuable information about experiences, perceptions, and needs. 

From parents to teachers, each member of your school community has valuable insights that can help drive district success. 

Give your community the opportunity to inform school improvement efforts

Whether you’re a new superintendent or you’ve been with your district for years, executing an effective listening tour can help you collect feedback and demonstrate your district’s commitment to transparency.

In addition, when you’re looking at where, when, and how to conduct a listening tour, ensure you are showing you’re invested in improving communication with stakeholders as that will elevate trust in your district’s leadership — leading to better experiences, engagement, and education.

To help school districts plan and conduct successful listening tours, we’ve put together the Superintendent Listening Tour Checklist.

This checklist walks you through the important steps to take before, during, and after a school listening tour to ensure you collect critical insights to help you develop a roadmap for district-wide improvement.

Plan your listening tour to collect feedback and demonstrate your commitment to transparency to drive district success. Download the listening tour checklist today.

By Emily Weinberger
Originally published January 24, 2022 Last updated July 17, 2023