School District Board Members Listen To Learn

The Washoe County School District Board of Trustees has embarked
on a new communication effort to listen to what the community thinks
about the quality of education in local schools.

In the program is called "Listen to Learn,"a Board member (or members)
visit local civic groups, boards, and organizations to ask one or two
simple questions: "What do you think about the job we are doing to
provide a quality education? What are we doing well and what can we
improve?"

WCSD Board president Jody Ruggiero said "Listen to Learn" is part
of the district's effort to ramp up its engagement with the public and
to also gather comments, criticisms, and ideas to help direct Board
policies in the future.

"We have heard so many positive things about our willingness to get out
and hear what people have to say," Ruggiero said. "The key to making
this process work is that we ask simple questions then just listen to
people answer them. As someone once said, you can learn a lot just by
watching. We're learning a lot just by listening."

Doug Kurkul, chairman of the Reno-Sparks Chmaber of Commerce
said he thinks Listen to Learn can pay real dividends for the future of
education in Washoe County.

"The Washoe County School District's Board of Trustees has taken a
pro-active step through these"Listen to Learn" public forums. The
session held at the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce yielded many important and practical suggestions," Kurkul said.

Kurkul said that "education is everyone's business, and Listen to Learn,
coupled with implementation of the good ideas that all of these
discussions yield will be beneficial to education."

WCSD Trustess Barbara Clark that the aim of Listen to Learn is not to
ask for praise of the job that WCSD is doing.

"We want to hear it all. We know that we do some things well, and we
know there are areas that can always be improved. We want people to
know that their viewpoints and ideas matter to us. We will use what we
hear to help us all do a better job. It's also a way of giving people a
sense of ownership of and involvment in our schools," Price said.


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