Reflections on lessons and conversations ...

Not quite spring, still quite a chill in the air. Parents, community members and educators gather to discuss shared priorities for the education of children. Their children. Panelists speak. Discussion ensues. Refreshments and videos. It ends.

Was that our February 27 Town Hall meeting? In one sense, it was. It approached. It happened. It's now behind us.

The conversation of that evening, however, was not confined to that moment in time. It really represented the next breaths of a conversation that began a year before, at another Town Hall meeting that fits every description at the top of this post.

There, we shared our strategic planning framework. We had not yet mapped action plans. The audience was half as big.

The conversation, though, followed the same threads. No matter how well we do, we want to do better. All students must be able to learn and excel through their passions. All students must find avenues for real participation in 21st century communities.

Complacency was our enemy then. It's still our enemy one year later.

The strategic plan's development and the first months of its implementation have taught us that. We've also learned that steadfast commitment to the plan we made and to the objectives we identified is our best ally. If we face those objectives honestly, and treat them as the central gauges of our continuous improvement, we banish complacency.

Testimonials from our strategic planning process remind us of where we were, and of what it meant--what it looked and sounded like--to learn that lesson about complacency. We're proud to present "Compass Conversations" below as an artifact of our organizational learning.

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