With more than 7,500 employees, tens of thousands of families and hundreds of thousands of community members, Garland ISD exists as a diverse group of individuals with one shared vision. We all want to reach the future by driving excellence, one student at a time. Together, we are #TeamGISD, and the district’s new superintendent is calling us to action. In February, Dr. Ricardo López launched a listening tour to gain feedback for future planning. While meeting with students, staff, families and communities throughout the end of the school year, he asked three simple questions:
What should the district continue doing?
What should the district start doing?
What should the district stop doing?
“I think it’s important hear everyone’s perspective,” said Dr. López. “We are a strong team, and if we mobilize behind the same beliefs, we will be unstoppable.”
More than a dozen stops were scheduled on Dr. López’s tour. Invited guests included city leaders from Garland, Rowlett and Sachse, Chambers of Commerce, PTAs, the Asian-American community, the Garland Association For Hispanic Affairs, the NAACP Garland Unit, students, staff and more.
With thousands of expected attendees, the voices of each were heard. Participants first broke up into tables, inviting everyone to express their opinions regarding the three questions. Groups then voted on their top responses, and that feedback was recorded on the district website at garlandisd.net/lopezlistens.
“The López Listens meeting was such a pleasant and valuable opportunity for me to voice my comments collaboratively with others regarding future possibilities for all GISD students,” said district employee and PTA volunteer Francis Luna. “I’m so glad to have been a part of the process!”
“To quote the Dalai Lama, ‘When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.’ Dr. López is a great listener. He knows the community’s needs and is sensitive and respectful to a diverse set of cultures,” added community member Dan Dao.
Do you want to add your input? Participate in the online López Listens tour now. A survey with Dr. López’s questions is available at bit.ly/lopezlistens. Online responses will be recorded and combined with input from the live events.
“I’ve only been in this district a short time, but I’ve already seen many amazing things,” commented Dr. López. “GISD is home to excellent administrators, high-achieving students and supportive families and communities. I truly believe that we are the best school district in the state. I look forward to working with you all to continue the greatness that is GISD.”