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Results of Thought Exchange on Family Academies

The district recently asked families and community members for input on the concept of Family Academies through the new Thought Exchange engagement and alignment tool. We asked: What topics would be helpful to you? How should we structure the Family Academies? 


A link was delivered by email to 1,139 individuals who either have/had children in the school district or signed up to receive information from the district by email. We also sent two reminder emails to ask people to share thoughts and read, consider, and rate the thoughts of others. 

  • 494 people opened the first email
  • 124 people opened the second email
  • 357 people opened the third email
  • 126 people participated in the Thought Exchange
  • 49 thoughts were shared
  • Thoughts were rated 1,712 times
  • No thoughts were reported as being rude or hurtful, so no thoughts have been hidden
  • All thoughts received enough ratings, so all thoughts are visible


After the Thought Exchange closed on August 30, 2019, a committee consisting of Superintendent Lynne Rutnik, K-12 Director Instructional Innovation and Engagement Megan Coker, and WSWHE BOCES Coordinator Communication Services Tara Sullivan used the following process to create this report. (Please note, committee members will be different for each Thought Exchange in accordance with the topic of the exchange.)

  1. Log in and view the Thought Exchange Discover Dashboard
  2. Use the “Auto Theme” tool to categorize all the thoughts into themes
  3. Make sure the committee agrees with the theme assigned to each thought, and if not, discuss, re-classify the thought, add themes, combine thoughts into themes where it makes sense
  4. Dig into the “Other” category to see if more themes emerge and add more themes as needed
  5. View the “Tiles” tool and click on each for additional information


Please watch this video to see the process in action:



To see all the thoughts that were entered in the Family Academy Thought Exchange, please click here. This report is interactive, so viewers will be able to click on “Top Thoughts” to see all thoughts entered. By clicking on “Theme Tiles,” viewers will see all thoughts grouped by keywords. 


We would like to thank everyone who participated in the first community-wide Thought Exchange. It is our intention to create a K-12 committee in the near future that will utilize these thoughts to develop meaningful, informative Family Academies during the 2019-20 school year. 


As a reminder, all exchanges are confidential. Individual’s thoughts are shared, but not the individual’s identity. If anyone sees a thought that is rude, hurtful, or identifies a person or group, participants can report those thoughts by clicking in the upper right corner of the thought. If anyone is concerned about the confidentiality and anonymity of Thought Exchange and want to see the behind-the-scenes dashboard, please contact Tara Sullivan to schedule a time to see the dashboard in-person. It is important to us that the community have trust in the tool and the process and the positive intentions behind this engagement tool.