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Engaging in Two-Way Conversation
In today’s world, school districts have many ways to communicate with families, but one of the most valuable communication tools is engaging with and receiving feedback from those our schools serve. It can turn everyday challenges into opportunities for engagement and growth.
Fulton County Schools has partnered with ThoughtExchange to gather feedback from students, families, staff, and community members. ThoughtExchange is a special and unique two-way process to bring people together on important topics, which replaces the methods used in traditional surveys with a naturally collaborative platform. It can turn everyday challenges into opportunities for engagement and growth. ThoughtExchange will allow participants to share their thoughts and ideas about specific programs and initiatives, and/or gather other feedback about our schools and district. ThoughtExchange is a discussion management platform used and trusted by some of the world's most advanced organizations (including other K-12 school districts, higher education, and corporations).
With ThoughtExchange, participants share thoughts confidentially and anonymously, ensuring that all voices are heard and all divergent views can come to light around a shared topic of interest or concern. ThoughtExchange encourages engagement as people respond anonymously with other participants.
How does it work?
- FCS poses a broad open-ended question and invites people to respond.
- Participants share thoughts or ideas anonymously with others participating in the exchange.
Click here for more information on how thoughts are confidential.
- Using a 1-5 scale, participants rate their agreement with different thoughts.
- Participants are encouraged to keep coming back to share additional thoughts and read and rate what others think.
- Participants can view how the thoughts in the exchange have been rated by the group.
Click here to learn more about the steps of an exchange.
- FCS analyzes data from the exchange and uses this input for decision-making.
Data, insights, and feedback gathered through ThoughtExchange will help the district gain a better understanding of what students, families, staff, and community members think about key issues, initiatives, and topics. An exchange helps people learn from one another, discover important insights, and make decisions quickly and effectively - all this with fewer meetings and better information. This helps us gather input from members of the community while engaging people in thought-provoking conversations at the same time.
In Fulton County Schools, we are always looking for ways to improve communication and are listening deeply to your feedback and ideas. When we run a ThoughtExchange, our team takes the time to review and consider the feedback from the top thoughts to inform our decisions on how to best move forward.
For more on ThoughtExchange and how it works, watch this brief video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the questions so open-ended?
Questions are broad so that you and the rest of the FCS community can shape the conversation, and they are open-ended to avoid steering the conversation in a predetermined direction. If the questions are too detailed or specific, we could miss out on some really great ideas. We’re truly curious about what you think, and want to give you the opportunity to share a wide range of thoughts about a topic. So, go for it! Add your thoughts and see where the conversation goes!
Are my thoughts anonymous?
Yes, your interaction in an exchange is completely anonymous, so please share openly. Other people will see your thoughts and ratings and you will see others’ thoughts and ratings. However, no thoughts or ratings have names attached, and exchange leaders and district staff are not able to see who has participated in an exchange as this is a third-party platform.
What (if any) moderation settings are in place?
It is important that Fulton County Schools connect to the community and get feedback, and ThoughtExchange is one way to accomplish this goal. We are committed to constructive dialogue and collaboration with our stakeholders on issues that affect our schools and students. We welcome your comments, including constructive criticism. We also strive for as much transparency as possible; however, we recognize the need to ensure the conversation is safe and respectful. As such, Fulton County Schools makes use of ThoughtExchange's automated moderation that reviews items before public posting. If a thought you posted does not appear or states that it has been removed, it simply means it has been flagged for review as potentially violating our moderation criteria. If the review determines it is not in violation, it will be approved for posting.
FCS will remove comments that include the following:
- Obscene, profane, rude, or vulgar language or images
- Personal attacks that target specific individuals/groups, or posts containing personal information
- Threats; defamatory statements; and/or violent, hateful, or racist language
- Advocacy for any illegal activity
- Identical thoughts from the same user (This is done as multiple posts of the same thought dilute the ratings for that thought. The original thought will remain in the exchange.)
- Spam, advertisements, or solicitations of any kind
- Infringement on copyrights or trademarks
When you enter exchanges, you are engaging in community dialogue. It is expected you will encounter thoughts that contain information that you feel is in error or opinions with which you don’t agree. The rating process allows you to show your level of support (1-5) for others’ thoughts.