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Posted January 11, 2016

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Superintendent Launches Listening Tour

Supt. Reedy is visiting with families in their homes for feedback on how the district is doing.

Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy is visiting with families in their homes this week as part of a campaign to get personalized feedback from those served by the district.

The first-ever Superintendent’s Listening Tour is a more intimate approach to gathering input, moving from faceless data and impersonal public forums to one-on-one conversations. The district will use the feedback from these conversations to measure strengths and weakness as it develops its Academic Master Plan and other strategies for better serving its constituents.

“Because we are in the business of affecting lives, it makes sense to measure the success of the district not only through data-driven statistics, but also through the experiences of our students, families and others impacted by APS,” said APS Acting Superintendent Raquel Reedy.

APS principals have helped identify seven families (one from each board district) to meet with the superintendent during the initial phase of the campaign, which kicked off Monday, Jan. 11. These families reflect the diversity of the district socioeconomically and ethnically as well as the grade level and academic needs of their school-age children.

Supt. Reedy will visit with each family in their home over a dinner provided by the district (and paid for by the non-profit APS Education Foundation). Supt. Reedy will have a list of discussion topics, but the hope is that the familiar setting will allow participants to speak freely and express themselves. 

The visits will be private but documented so that the input can be compiled and later shared with stakeholders. At a later time, some of the participants may choose to share their experience, however the main purpose of the campaign is to gather honest feedback from those served by the district. 

The district intends to check back periodically with these families to gauge how successful it has been at meeting their needs and implementing their suggestions. In addition, the families will serve as sounding board for all types of issues that arise throughout the school year, from instruction to bell schedules to busing.

The plan is to share findings from this campaign with both internal and external audiences as the district moves forward. If the Listening Tour proves to be meaningful and beneficial, APS will explore expanding it to include other district leaders, principals and teachers.

“Traditionally, APS has sought public input through large town hall meetings, public forums and surveys. Unfortunately, participation often is low and agenda-driven. The hope is that the one-on-one conversations will allow for more meaningful dialogue that will help us map out academic and operational plans for the future,” said Monica Armenta, executive director of the APS Communications Office, which is spearheading the campaign.   

Watch Supt. Reedy's interview with Channel 13 on the Listening Tour.

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