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COVID-19 is dominating the attention of the world. Now that schools are closing for unknown amounts of time, districts are working hard and fast to find effective ways to continue educating and supporting your community.
Your staff, students, and their families have thoughts, questions, and good ideas that they want to share. In this time of uncertainty, launching a Thoughtexchange creates a space where all voices can be heard.
An exchange can demonstrate open listening, and ensure everyone has an opportunity to speak and consider ideas from one another. You can then respond to top thoughts, addressing questions and concerns.
This exchange template offers everything you need to start the conversation: a set of recommended questions based on situations you may be facing, sample introductory text, possible survey questions and more.
Ready? Let’s get started.
These types of questions have been run by education leaders independently and iteratively depending on what stage the organization is in terms of exploring this conversation.
- What are the most important things we should be considering as we provide distance learning opportunities for our students?
- What thoughts and questions do you have following training?
- What advice do you have as we work to support students who receive accommodations?
Feedback and Continuous Improvement
- Now that we’re [X Days/Weeks] into distance learning, what are your thoughts? What’s working well and what can we improve?
- What challenges have you encountered in developing learning plans for students to access remotely?
- Please share any ideas/thoughts/concerns that have come up for you in our effort to support continued learning.
- With the roll-out of remote learning, what is going well for your family and what could be improved?
Keeping People Together
- As we work to create a meaningful and memorable graduation celebration in these extraordinary times, what are your thoughts and ideas?
- What are ways we can continue to support <student/staff> well-being?
- During this extended school closure, what are some ways we can best support you and your family as a member of our school community?
- Please share ideas/strategies for staying positive during difficult times.
You can click here to see other questions that education leaders are using to keep people together during COVID-19.
Introduction and Invitation:
Sample Exchange Introduction:
As school closures continue, we are working hard to find ways to continue to support our community. We want to stay connected and hear your questions and ideas during this challenging and uncertain time.
Please share your thoughts and then consider and rate the thoughts of others. We will use the results of this exchange to <INITIATIVES/NEXT STEPS>.
This exchange will be open until <DATE>.
Thank you for participating in this important conversation!
- This exchange is confidential. Your thoughts will be shared, but not your identity.
- Please be polite and respectful as you share and rate thoughts.
- If you see a thought that is rude, hurtful or identifies a person or group, you can report it by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought.
- You do not need to rate all thoughts in this exchange. It is appreciated and recommended to rate around 30 over the time the exchange is open.
For up to date information on the virus, please visit <PUBLIC HEALTH WEBSITE>.
Sample Email Invitation:
Team <TEAM NAME>,
I believe we are smarter and better together and I am asking you for five minutes today and another five minutes tomorrow to help us plan for success during school closures.
Please click this <EXCHANGE LINK> today and share your thoughts and questions. Please also come back to this link sometime tomorrow and star the thoughts shared.
We will use the collective knowledge of our community to help plan and improve our efforts. I thank you in advance for your willingness to participate in this exchange in order to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our staff and students supported during this uncertain time.
Survey questions give you the opportunity to enhance your exchange, and better understand what’s important to different groups in your community and help you tailor your communication to different stakeholders. Here are some examples you could use.
Sample Survey Questions:
What option best describes your role in the district?
- Community Member
How satisfied are you with the current communication flow?
- Very unsatisfied
- Somewhat unsatisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Very satisfied
How comfortable are you teaching and communicating within the <platform>?
- Very uncomfortable
- Somewhat uncomfortable
- Somewhat comfortable
- Totally comfortable
Does your household have the technology needed to successfully learn from home?
- Not at all
- We can make do short term
- I’m not sure
- We have most of what we need
- We are all set!
Does your child receive special education/accommodation services?
What is your current level of stress?
- I don’t know
- Not at all stressed
- Somewhat stressed
- Very stressed
**New Feature! Participation Groups
Participation Groups allows you to break a potentially large conversation into smaller groups, such as by grade or by school. For a more in-depth explanation, click here.
If you’re not sure how to use Participation Groups, get in touch with us and we will get you set up.