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Academic and Social Growth for ALL students, EVERY DAY!

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.

Community Engagement by the Numbers, 100+ Participants at three Town Hall Events, 580+ Community Survey Results, 2,500+ Unique Comments, Questions, Ideas

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.

In the fall of 2023, we continued 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.  Two more Town Halls took place - at Harrison Junior School on Thursday, September 14th and at Harrison High School on Tuesday, October 10th. 

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.

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

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

Our facilities are critical to the success of our students, and in your feedback from town halls and surveys, it’s clear our community values strong facilities.

Throughout our town halls and throughout our public engagement efforts, there was a big focus on the state of our SLSD facilities. We strongly believe that the community should have access to all our buildings so they can get a clear picture of the current state of all our school facilities. 

At the end of February 2024, we hosted our first building tour at the High School. We got some great feedback. It was clear to those in attendance that age has taken a toll on the High School, and that can be seen very clearly in certain areas of the facility, such as the boiler room. There was also a lot of feedback about how, after 23 years, the Activity Center remains in good condition. Residents believed this speaks to the ability of the district to effectively manage our facility assets over a long period of time. 

Our facility tours continued in March and April of 2024, with additional community engagement opportunities at Harrison Junior School on March 19 and at Miami Whitewater Elementary on April 29.  

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