Business leaders weigh in on future of Vigo County schools

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce requested to host one of the Community Conversations.

Posted: Nov 2, 2018 1:15 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 8:12 AM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - How do we create a better future for Vigo County Schools?

Leaders are hoping to find the answer in Community Conversations. They've been hosting a series of public forums inside local schools since October.

"I tried to decide which one of the schools I should go to," said Renee Henry, "but I didn't want to take away parent time with my issues."

Renee, who is the education director for the Terre Haute Children's Museum, was among several business leaders and owners on Friday morning. They worked in groups to voice their thoughts, concerns and ideas regarding the school corporation.

"The fact that the staffing of the schools was the high point for many of the groups came out loud and clear," said Henry, "and that the faculty, all the staff, care about the kids and they want to do a quality education, but I think there are challenges as well, and the conversation was widely diverse about that."

Topics like teacher-to-student ratio and transparency were among the concerns, while enthusiastic staff and faculty were among the compliments Friday morning.

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce requested to host one of the Community Conversations.

"We felt a duty to convene as many of our members, and our volunteer leadership here at the chamber, to get their input into the processes that the school corporation has underway," said Chamber President David Haynes.

Friday's meeting was one of several to be included as part of the Vigo County School Corporation's Strategic Plan. The idea is to gather community feedback and factor it into an overall plan that better addresses school district needs and goals. 

The plan would also help combat issues like teacher shortages, school safety and aging buildings.

"The Vigo County School Corporation belongs to all of us, students, citizens, businesses," said Haynes, "and the more input we have into its function, the more ownership we'll have."

For Henry, she says it's vital that people get involved in the conversation to secure a stronger future for Vigo County's education.

"If you care about the schools, or have a complaint or you think something is really positive, people should really come and participate in the conversation," she said.

Meetings will continue throughout November at different schools in the area. You can attend any meeting at any location. They are all open to the public.

For a list of meeting dates, times and locations: click here.

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