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Visalia Unified sets aside time to visit with parents

Visalia Unified sets aside time to visit with parents

‘Visit with VUSD’ listening sessions continue today, Wednesday, Aug. 21 through Friday, Aug. 30

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Communication between school districts and parents is less conversation than direction. Parents attend school board meetings to weigh in on key issues facing their school but board members and staff are not allowed to respond unless the item is posted on the agenda 72 hours prior to the meeting. Administrators send home information via automated voice messages, mass emails, and through the media to reach a significant number of the thousands of parents with students in the district whom they will probably never have the chance to meet. 

But in the district’s spirit of inclusivity, Visalia Unified School District’s Interim Superintendent Dr. Tamara Ravalín and leadership staff members are launching a series of community meetings to allow parents to “Visit with VUSD.”

The goal is to encourage community members to ask questions and share concerns and for the community and VUSD to work toward a deeper understanding of challenges and successes. The talks, often referred to as listening sessions, will feature no structured agenda, and guests can arrive and leave at any time during each event. The first two were held from 7 to 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 at Mavericks Coffee Co. and the second was held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at McDonald’s at Mary’s Vineyard shopping center. 

Visit with VUSD continues today, Aug. 12 from 9 to 10 a.m. at Component Coffee Lab, 513 E. Center Ave. and continues tomorrow, Aug. 29 from 1 to 2 p.m. at The Corner Café, 5219 W. Goshen Ave. August meetings will conclude from 7-8 a.m. this Friday, Aug. 30 at Panera Bread, located at 4103 S. Mooney Blvd.

“It is our hope that these listening sessions will provide valuable insight for staff and for the community members who participate,” Ravalín said. “This is a new initiative, and we’re hopeful the community finds it helpful and useful. We also appreciate the businesses who are allowing us to gather in their space.”

Additional dates for Visit with VUSD will be announced for September. For further information, contact Dr. Ravalín’s office at 559-730-7522.

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