We spoke with Deb Henton, Superintendent for North Branch Area Public Schools, about referendums and informed voting, and how Thoughtexchange empowered community members to vote with confidence.
- What comments and/or questions do you have about North Branch Area Public Schools’ referendum and upcoming projects?
- What are some things we are doing well and some things we can improve to ensure extracurricular activities and athletic programs are beneficial and accessible for all students?
What value did you get from your exchange?
Using Thoughtexchange to release referendum materials to the community and seeking reaction to those materials had great value for North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS). It was instrumental in helping the school district determine what information voters still needed prior to election day. The feedback received by the school district shaped follow-up communications as election day approached, and ensured the material was meaningful to potential voters. NBAPS was victorious on all three ballot proposals.
Using Thoughtexchange to inquire about activities provided value to the school district in numerous ways. Participants stressed the need for the school district to maintain a wide variety of activities, the value they place on holding students accountable to academic standards, and affirmed previous decisions by the school district to make activities more accessible to the student body.
What advice do you have for other people asking this question?
When asking referendum-related questions of stakeholders, it is important to reach as wide a cross section of the local population as possible. Pushing out links to local organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, posting on social media, and utilizing municipal communication tools, allows school districts to collect a wide variety of feedback, and help create a more accurate picture of challenges that must be overcome prior to election day.
When asking about activities, it is recommended that you provide a list of activities provided by the school district. A “top thought” in this exchange expressed surprise at the variety of activities offered by North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS). Not only did this exchange provide valuable information to the school district, it also provided community members with a more complete picture of the opportunities offered by NBAPS.