Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Well Do We Interact with Our Stakeholders?

Today, I helped conduct part of a market study at my local Food Co-op as one of my duties of being on the Board of Directors. We are working on our vision and deciding what steps to take in the future. We're seeking out opinions from the owner-members since it is THEIR food co-op and therefore, what they want matters. This got me thinking: How well do we do this in schools?

Parents, students, and community members are also "owner-members" for our schools. Do we ask what their vision is or the direction in which they'd like to see the school go? I am not familiar with many schools that do this. If there are schools in my area that do this, they're not telling the story. It should not just be the school board, or the administration or school employees who make these decisions for the school. Stakeholders should not have to come to a monthly school board meeting in order to share thoughts; their thoughts should be sought out on a regular basis throughout the school year. This means more often than the one open house at the beginning of the year or the two parent-teacher conferences during the year. The more engaged families and the community are in our schools, the more likely students are to succeed. Students need to see that people care and that they are watching.

Schools are not only missing out on opportunities for feedback, but also for compliments. My experience is that, for the most part, families seem pleased with the schools in this area. Is someone seeking input from stakeholders at sporting events or fine arts productions?  If more people were encouraged to share their thoughts, opinions and insight on a regular basis, many hands would make light work.


  1. Getting buy in from all stakeholders is so important. For a school to grow everyone needs to be on the same page and buy into that culture. Without all the stakeholders sharing a common vision true growth wont be possible
    Jena thanks for sharing

  2. I love this idea. I sort of feel like we do it with PTO/A and Open House nights at my school but what do you do when turnout is low? I do think that parents, teachers, and the community WANT to be involved... it is their future. However, so many things get in the way. How can we "advertise" the impact that they could make. This definitely gets me thinking! Great post!