Community Members Meet for Awareness Kickoff, Share Input in Thoughtexchange

A student talks to people from his school community.
Shawnee Mission School District

Shawnee Mission School District community members are taking part in some of the first conversations being held to plan the future of the Shawnee Mission School District. 

Click here to see a video.

Dr. Mike Fulton, superintendent, welcomed administrators, staff, parents, students and community members from across the district to a Strategic Plan Awareness Kickoff on February 5. He spoke about the Strategic Planning process, how the community plays an important role in this work, and how it will be developed to serve the needs of all students in the Shawnee Mission School District.

“We start from a strong place: We are an excellent school district,” Fulton said. “Now our work focuses on the future and what we want in the next five, ten, or 20 years.”

Dr. Fulton posed the question to participants, “What are the skills our current first-graders (Class of 2030) will need to be success-ready graduates?” To facilitate gathering responses to that question, Dr. Michelle Hubbard, associate superintendent of leadership and learning, introduced the attendees to Thoughtexchange, a platform the district will use throughout this process to gather and organize input from constituents.

Thoughtexchange is a software platform designed to create challenging and productive conversations with large groups of people about issues that matter, and to understand what is valuable to communities. The community is invited to join the conversation and provide input through Thoughtexchange by clicking here. This Thoughtexchange will be open until 5 p.m. on Friday, February 15.

“The most important thing I would like for people to take away from the meeting is how powerful someone’s voice is and, in moving forward, how important the future for our kids is, and making sure we design a strategic plan that is going to get us to the North Star and not just keep the status quo,” Hubbard said.

The North Star represents what we all are aspiring to develop -- a school system which meets the needs of all students and supports their individual success.

Dr. Fulton closed the evening by inviting everyone to honor the strengths of each child and thanked participants for sharing their thoughts as part of the process.

“The kinds of thing we need to do to help the learners at each of our schools is understand the learners that we serve and then organically, collectively, collaboratively, as a school community begin to design our schools up in a way that is customized to our learners,” Fulton said.

For more information about the strategic planning process, click here.