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Community Engagement: Answering the Two Essential Questions

You spend more time than you’d care to admit thinking about how to engage your community. Listening and responding to parents and teachers is critical to your success. But keeping your community engaged is harder than it seems.

Except that it’s not–not really.

Truth be told, there are only two questions that every school leader needs to answer every time a parent or other community member knocks on their door.

#1 How fast?
If I asked you how many parents or teachers reached out to your district, on average, per day, could you give me a number? More important, could you tell me how long it takes for the right person on your team to respond? No? For school districts desperately trying to keep a leg up on the competition, that’s a big problem.

And ….

#2 How well?
Getting back to people fast is important. But being on time won’t change many opinions of your district. You must provide value. Do you have a system for measuring the quality of your responses? When parents and others reach out to your district do they walk away feeling satisfied? Community members don’t have to agree with you. But they do have to feel like you listened to their concerns and understand the reason behind your decision.

Take a hard look at community engagement in your school or district. Do you have a system and process for making sure people get what they need, when they need it?

The consequences of ignoring parents and other community members–or worse, failing to effectively address their concerns–are real. It’s 2016. Families have options. If parents and guardians don’t feel like they have a stake in your decisions, they can choose (operative word) to enroll their children elsewhere. If you didn’t have a funding problem before, you almost certainly will now.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to answer both of these questions–and to ensure that parents and families stay engaged.

Want to find out how many people are engaging your district every day?
Let’s Talk! can help you find and serve that number.