The Litchfield School Board will host its first community listening session on Tuesday evening, Sept. 3, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Litchfield Public Library, located at 1205 S. State Street.
"We are here to listen and learn," said Superintendent Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau. "We want to get a better understanding of what the community wants within our school system."
Dr. Fuerstenau said he will moderate the question session, and that board members will not be speaking at the meeting, only listening to comments from community members. The meeting is open to the public.
Board members hope the meeting will be an effort to engage the community about their thoughts and concerns with the Litchfield School District and provide a chance to help the district move forward by understanding how it thinks about these topics.
Dr. Fuerstenau emphasized that the meeting is not sponsored by a political party or business, adding that it will not be a compliant session or a pitch for any particular solution or approach.
"This is about helping the district plan for the future," said Dr. Fuerstenau. "The board felt strongly about having conversations with the community about this."
Although participants will be asked to sign in when they arrive, they will not be asked to state their names as part of the discussion.
A note taker will keep track of the conversations, but the notes will not include anyone's names.
"The notes are to make sure we're able to learn from this conversation," said Dr. Fuerstenau.
Questions for the listening session include:
• What do you see as the school district's role in our community? Why is that important?
• Overall, how do you think things are going when it comes to education in our community? What makes you say that? What's going well?
• What things are keeping us from having the education we want for our kids? Why do you say that? How do you think things got that way?
• What questions do you have? What do you feel you'd like to know more about that would help you make better sense of what's going on and what should be done? What kind of follow-up would you like to see out of this discussion? Would you be willing to serve on the superintendent's community advisory group?
Dr. Fuerstenau said the board doesn't promise that any new initiatives or programs will emerge from this listening session, but they will get back to the community to share what they learned and how they will use that information to move forward.
Following the community listening session, the board will discuss the information gathered at their next regular meeting on Thursday evening, Sept. 19, beginning at 6 p.m. at Sihler School.