Were you able to attend the Vigo County School Corporation’s State of the Schools community meeting led by superintendent Rob Haworth? There’s never a perfect time for a community meeting, but I know this particular meeting happened to be at a time when a lot of parents were putting their kids to bed. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a recap!
I’ve been hearing lots of positive community feedback regarding Dr. Haworth. He seems enthusiastic, genuine, and likable. And guess what? I think he likes us too! Dr. Haworth opened with words of praise and thanks for our community. We have welcomed him, wrapped our arms around his family, made Vigo County feel like home. (We can and should feel proud of this!)
To illustrate, Dr. Haworth quoted these lyrics and explained that he wants our students to grow up sharing his sentiment that we’re lucky in this town:
Here everybody has a neighbor Everybody has a friend Everybody has a reason to begin again
My father said “Son, we’re lucky in this town, It’s a beautiful place to be born. It just wraps its arms around you, Nobody crowds you and nobody goes it alone”
“Your flag flyin’ over the courthouse Means certain things are set in stone. Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t”
We had a cash balance of 29,700,000. It is now 22,800,000. Where did that money go? To the improvement of student services (additional nurses, guidance counselors, etc–see note above).
Spending more than we’re saving
Want meaningful wage for staff and teachers
The corporation is working on a path forward. They’ve prepared and assessed. The next step is co-designing and engaging stakeholders within the community.
With this, Dr. Haworth presented a summary of the findings of the 2018 Community Conversations in which the community was invited to meet with administrators and school officials to share feedback. I believe these summaries are best shared through pictures of the slides containing Dr. Haworth’s exact words.
What are the positive aspects of the Vigo County School Corporation?
(The community identified that our #1 strength is that we have great teachers. No surprise there!)
Dr. Haworth wants to protect and stay committed to these positives.
In what ways can Vigo County School Corporation improve?
How do we level the playing field and support all students?
How does the corporation improve connection and communication?
What are your biggest concerns with the upcoming school building projects?
VCSC doesn’t have an answer to building needs
Working on 8-year facilities plan
Anything else need to be considered?
1) Teachers not paid enough 2) Communication 3) Life skills 4) Offer more trade classes
Dr. Haworth also mentioned that he surveyed the staff (and the results included a heavy emphasis on the need to upgrade our technology) and round table discussions with faith-based communities, non-profits, and businesses (coming soon). These groups identified that the following problems greatly impact our students:
Break down of family
Community low expectations
Those of you who were able to attend, what did you hear? This recap is from my perspective. What details were important to you?
Dr. Haworth believes that the key (the “special sauce”) to making our corporation even more amazing is working together as Team Vigo. Team Vigo brings together teachers, staff, universities, industry, parents, non-profits, businesses, faith-based communities to co-design a future that wraps our arms around our most precious gifts, our children.
In 2031, this year’s kindergarten class will graduate. Will they say this is a beautiful place to call home?