Boost home-school communication, decision making with community-feedback forum

Source: SmartBrief on Education in partnership with GreyED

Most school districts struggle with customer service. Educators are pros at classroom engagement, but engaging parents and staff in critical conversations outside of school poses real challenges. Parents often don’t know who to contact or even how to contact someone with a question or to share a comment.

At Lincoln Public Schools, we’re committed to listening to our community. We use Let’s Talk!, a cloud-based platform designed to give community members — teachers, students, parents and staff — a central portal for providing feedback. Users can ask questions, weigh in on school district decisions, submit concerns or even share compliments.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A community member visits the district or school website and posts a question or comment in Let’s Talk!
  2. The software immediately routes that comment to the right district team member.
  3. The community member receives a personal response specific to their request, usually within six hours.
  4. Administrators use information from each conversation to help make decisions on critical school issues.

Our superintendent calls Let’s Talk! our virtual “front door.” Parents and community members like knowing they can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since launching the platform, we’ve received more than 700 comments (we call them dialogues), with topics ranging from student enrollment to weather to curriculum. Even better, much of the information that once lived only inside departments and school buildings is now available district wide, from a single portal.

John Neal currently serves as assistant superintendent for governmental relations and general administration at Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska. He’s also a former principal and English teacher.