Eanes ISD Holds Café Series to Promote Conversation Between Parents and District

Eanes ISD Holds Café Series to Promote Conversation Between Parents and District

This year, Eanes ISD introduced the Café Series, an acronym for “Conversations About Furthering Excellence.” This series consists of meetings between district representatives, such as those on the Board of Trustees, and the community, which are meant to connect the community and to encourage discussion of how to improve the district.

“The Café series is demonstrating the value of transparency, accessibility and honesty,” Superintendent Jeff Arnett said. “We are a great organization and a wonderful community; not perfect, by any means, but we want to continually improve. These different interactions show us the path to progress is lined with candid communication and even vulnerability.”

This Café Series includes events such as Topical Town Halls, Staff + Parent Conversations, Social Media Vignettes, and Listening Dinners.

The first Topical Town Hall was hosted Sept. 15 in Hill Country’s library, with a good turnout, and was focused on concerns about the security and safety of the district. Because of the good turnout, many parents were able to hold conversations and voice their concerns to district staff.

“I was pleased to see that we had a good turnout as we set up approximately 80 chairs and there was enough present to occupy all of them,” Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Trimble, who was a speaker at the Sept. 15 meeting, said. “We do hope that as these different subject matter meetings occur over the school year that we see continued interest and involvement. We never know how many people may show, but we do expect that depending on the subject matter, there will always be a group that will see the information as important.”

Many parents who attended the Town Hall were concerned about the safety due to recent security threats, including a threat that endangered Cedar Creek Elementary. After a small presentation, parents were allowed to ask questions to Eanes staff.

“We hope that our community saw and felt value following the presentation and discussion,” Trimble said. “Based on feedback, I believe that the discussion has impacted families and our community in different ways. Following the discussion, we have taken some of the questions and comments into consideration and one example is that we will be sharing videos that are being shown to our students in preparing and training for a ‘lockdown’ and other Standard Response Protocol topics. These will be posted on our website.”

Three more of these Town Hall Meetings are scheduled throughout the rest of the school year, with the next one scheduled Nov. 10. 

“We saw value in the [Café] format of the meeting and slight adjustments to the format may be made as we conduct more,” Trimble said, “but they will be to improve the experience as much as possible.”