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Community Engagement

The success of our community and our schools is interconnected. 

Southwest Local Schools believes that education needs to take a leading role in sustaining our great community for generations to come. Guided by our district motto, "Excellence through Relationships", we strive to create a working partnership among students, parents, staff and community that takes responsibility for both raising our children and meeting our community's needs.

SLSD is now working to deepen these mutually beneficial relationships by engaging in a series of community conversations that will help the district understand our community needs by hearing from all residents, not just parents.  In the end, this will help us serve the community as we educate our children. 

All local residents are invited and encouraged to be part of the discussion, which focuses on issues such as:

  • What should our community’s future look like?
  • What role should the district play in achieving that future?
  • What can schools and community accomplish together?
  • How can our new school buildings serve the whole community? 

Please take a moment to listen to Superintendent John C. Hamstra explain the importance of Southwest Local School District's engagement process.  Click the video to the right. 

Mr. Hamstra also explained the Community Engagement campaign in a Guest Column which was published in The Register on March 16, 2023.  Click HERE and scroll to Page A4. 


Listening to You

In the Southwest Local School District, we work hard to engage with parents and staff to better understand the needs of the district.  We strive to give your children the best possible educational experience - and to do that we need feedback from you.

We've launched a public engagement campaign to better understand the wants, needs, and opinions of every member of the community when it comes to our school district.  We are beginning this effort with a districtwide survey. Your participation will assist us in making critical decisions and will guide our planning moving forward.

You can participate in our survey by clicking HERE.

Once you have taken a few minutes to complete the survey yourself, we highly encourage you to share it with others in our community - the more feedback we get the more effectively we can serve you.

Town Hall Meetings

A series of Town Hall meetings is now in progress.  All are open to the public.  

In the spring of 2023, Town Hall meetings took place at our three elementary schools:

Wednesday, March 15 at 6:00 PM
Crosby Elementary

Thursday, April 13 at 6:00 PM
Miami Whitewater Elementary

Wednesday, April 19 at 6:00 PM
Harrison Elementary

To hear participant reaction to our first town hall at Crosby Elementary, click the video to the right.

The "Halftime Report"

Through three Town Hall meetings at our elementary schools this spring, and nearly 600 responses to our community survey, we received an immense amount of input, perceptions, and questions which have helped shape the priorities of our district. At these events, we listened to community members share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas about our schools. It is through this wealth of feedback that the needs of our community are brought into focus. 

Please click the video to the right to hear Superintendent John Hamstra summarize the Community Engagement process thus far and preview what's to come in the fall. 

Additionally, please click HERE to view responses to some of the most frequently asked questions at the spring Town Halls.

Town Hall Series Continues

In the spring of 2023, we kicked off an organized districtwide engagement campaign with the purpose of listening to the community. Listening to YOU. We collected hundreds of survey responses and hosted three unique Town Hall events at our elementary schools that had excellent turnout from the community. We talked about important topics for our kids, staff, and district, such as school safety, academic excellence, school finance, and mental health resources. Reports and recaps of all these events can be found in the previous segment.

We are excited to continue our focus on engaging with our entire community, to ensure the future of our school district reflects what our community wants.  Please click the video to the right to view a short video from Superintendent John Hamstra, recapping what we've accomplished so far and looking ahead to what we have on deck in the weeks to come.

This fall, we are going to continue our process of listening to the community - we can’t move forward as a district and provide the level of service your kids deserve without your input and involvement.  We encourage you to do a few things. First, if you haven’t already, click HERE to take our survey to make sure your voice is heard.  Second, click HERE to RSVP to one of our two fall Town Hall events. The first will take place at Harrison Junior School at 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 14th.  The second will take place at Harrison High School at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, October 10th. We want to pack the buildings for these events, so make sure you RSVP ASAP.

We are fortunate to live in a community that cares so much about our schools and our students, and we want to hear from you on how we can continue to improve.

We look forward to seeing you at our Town Halls. Thank you.

Thursday, September 14 at 6:00 PM
Harrison Junior School


Tuesday, October 10 at 6:00 PM
Harrison High School

Again, all meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome.  If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP by clicking HERE.