ThoughtExchange Communication Results

Community Provides Feedback Through ThoughtExchange
Posted on 02/02/2020
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Multi-colored words with thought bubble in the middleMembers of the community recently completed Lakota’s first ThoughtExchange, a new online tool used to gather feedback from stakeholders on specific topics. The district asked, “What are some specific things you appreciate about how Lakota communicates with you and in what areas can we improve?”

“ThoughtExchange is a new platform that encourages our community members to not only share their thoughts, but also show how they agree or disagree with others,” said Director of School/Community Relations Betsy Fuller. By answering open-ended questions, participants are able to share detailed thoughts with district leaders. The platform will be used to gather feedback on a variety of topics, from both staff and community members, including the creation of a new Master Facilities Plan (MFP). Community members are encouraged to share their thoughts in the MFP current exchange that is open until Feb. 11. Go to to participate.

“Feedback from our community is vital to our key decision making process,” Superintendent Matthew Miller said. “ThoughtExchange gives us a unique way to reach more members of our community.” The district plans to use ThoughtExchange for feedback on a variety of topics, both internally and externally. From major decisions, such as the Master Facilities Plan, to agenda planning for meetings, district leaders see many opportunities to take advantage of the tool. 

In the first exchange about communication efforts, over 400 people participated, sharing 328 thoughts. The overwhelming majority, 93 percent, stated that they are neutral to very satisfied with Lakota’s level of communication, with 75 percent being satisfied to very satisfied. “We appreciate the willingness of our community to try this new tool and for the feedback we have received,” said Fuller. “We will use this information going forward to determine how best to reach our community as we share information and stories about our students, staff and schools.”

Some of the top rated responses include:

  • Appreciating the timeliness of emails from a principal to dispel rumors and misinformation from circulating; 
  • Requests for consistency with the way teachers communicate with parents, such as what platforms they are using; and 
  • Positive feedback regarding district and school e-newsletters.

While the school/community relations department is still analyzing the results, they have noted many positive responses to the use of photos, videos and social media to tell its stories. Improvements were suggested in giving more advanced notice about upcoming events, the user-friendliness of the district website and increasing the number of superintendent’s coffee chats held in the evenings. Reviews were mixed on the number of platforms used to communicate as a district, with many people appreciating the variety, but some wishing for fewer options.

Because transparency is a priority with the school/community relations department, and across the district, the results of the survey can be found by clicking here.