As we head into summer, our work to create a new strategic plan for Burlington School District is unfolding nicely. Last month, we received more than a dozen volunteers to engage in training to conduct empathy interviews and help us gather street-level stories, feedback, and data about the District (thank you interviewers and interviewees!).
Our next step in this process is to create what we are calling the Burlington Education Coalition. The goal of this coalition is to help shape the work of our strategic planning and, ultimately, the strategic direction of our district. As I noted last month, we are using a process known as “radical inclusion” to ensure this coalition is representative of Burlington’s diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. This means making extra effort to reach out to marginalized communities to ensure participation, creating an open application by which people may apply, and rounding out our Coalition with a randomly selected cross-section of the Burlington community.
As we begin this work, I’m writing today to invite and encourage you to apply to join this coalition. Coalition members will join to make sense of empathy interview data, create a report about the current state of education, develop a vision for the future, and generate the district’s strategic plan. To accomplish this, members will join our empathy interviewing team and conduct interviews in July and early August. Members will also meet regularly in August and engage in both in-person and remote work through September and October. Coalition members who are guardians and community members will be eligible for an honorarium (payment) for their participation.
If this sounds like the type of work you want to be involved in, please apply to join the coalition by June 25. More information about this work, including the exact dates of in-person meetings, can be found below. You may also reach out to Victor Prussack, Coordinator of the Office of Engagement, with any additional questions.
Thank you, again, for your continued engagement and support of Burlington schools.
Coalition Membership Responsibilities:
Coalition members will be expected to attend weekly in-person meetings in August on: August 9, 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Location TBD)
August 16, 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Location TBD)
August 23, 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Location TBD)
August 30, 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Location TBD)
Members should plan to conduct several empathy interviews prior to the first meeting on August 9. This will require reaching out to students, caregivers, educators, and community members to gain insights, as well as attending training on how to conduct these.
Empathy Interview Training Date: July 15, 5:30-7:00 PM (Location TBD)
Make-up Date: July 27, 5:30-7:00 PM (Location TBD)
Members will also engage in some shared work through September and October, through a mix of in-person and virtual meetings as well as some work done on their own time. Coalition members who are guardians and community members will be eligible for an honorarium (payment) for their participation.
If you would like to apply to be a member of the Coalition, please complete this application by June 20.