You Talked, We Listened

School districts by their very nature tend to be less than nimble when it comes to change.  Federal laws, State laws and an elected governing structure ensure that multiple levels of accountability exist.  This inevitably slows the process, even for ideas that on the surface seem like simple common sense.  Further complicating the process is the fact that the vast majority of the things that people think we do by choice are decisions that resulted from those same Federal and State laws.   Unfortunately, there are fewer items governed by local control each year.

That being said, I want people to know that we do listen.   Both formally and informally.  This spring we will begin implementing Opinion Inventory surveys in each of our buildings.  I encourage all of our parents to support this process and complete one of these surveys.  We use the data to evaluate what we do and look for ways to improve.  And while you may not be completely aware of this fact, we listen closely to the conversations you have with us personally.

And when it’s within our power, and when it matches our core mission and vision, I believe we respond.  We added a shuttle bus between the elementary school and our in-town campus that also stops at the PAC and the library.  Our board received requests to change the agenda format to accommodate speakers at board meetings.  And they did.  Based on a good suggestion from one of our substitute teachers, the District added a training class for our new and returning substitute teachers.  We heard loud and clear that our website needed more features and easier access to information.  So we launched a new web site to

New Signage at the Skate Park

provide those services.  And most recently, we acknowledged that the environment at skate park was becoming something we did not envision it to be.  So we worked with the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office to increase signage, clarify the rules, and provide the SCSO with the authority they needed to enforce the rules there on our behalf.

This conversation however needs an important and candid disclaimer.   We can’t, shouldn’t and won’t implement every suggestion that comes down the pike.  Some suggestions just aren’t feasible for a variety of reasons.  I wish I had a solution to every problem, but I don’t.  So it will always be my goal that we as a district listen,  sincerely evaluate the suggestions we receive, and work to implement the ones that can make us a better school district.


About Jay Harnack

Superintendent of Sublette County School District #1
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2 Responses to You Talked, We Listened

  1. Kris Ewert says:

    Home run again Jay… So delighted to read about the skate park rule enforcement. I’ve recently chatted with folks who live around the park and they were really discouraged with the kind of behavior that was taking place there. We’ve even avoided taking our grandkids there due to the less than desirable element that has taken over. Of course, being covered with snow has curtailed much of that. 🙂 Looking forward to a more conducive family environment in the spring. Appreciate the listening ear of you and the school board.

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