Engaged Citizens. Innovative Ideas.


On Wednesday, April 26th around 70 Heights community members gathered at Heights High School to participate in our first Crowdsourced Conversations event of 2023, this one on the topic of “Our Public Schools.”  Special thanks to Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and Reaching Heights Executive Director Krista Hawthorne for their opening remarks!

ACTION STEPS: Each group identified meaningful action steps they could take, either individually or as part of the collective, to support our school district.  Here are some highlights from each group.

BLUE GROUP: Help broadcast what’s happening in the schools in non-school-related spaces to reinforce that school news IS community news.  Partner with local merchants to help mentor/spotlight Heights students.

GREEN GROUP: Story-sharing is everything!  Taking the time to talk about personal experiences can offer an “insider” perspective, especially regarding experienced excellence in academics, athletics, and music. Marketing towards students of all academic levels would benefit new families moving into the community who don’t necessarily have a kindergarten-aged child.  Leveraging The Heights Observer is another method for story-sharing.

ORANGE GROUP: Those in the community who have unfavorable feelings about the schools but have no direct/personal experience with the should be encouraged to attend Open Houses or tour the schools.  Supporting groups like the Heights School Foundation can bring forward stories from alumni. With school-related legislation going on at the state level, residents can write or call our State’s Representatives and Senators.

PINK GROUP: Think of school events as community events. Document the “FAQ’s” heard most often by the district and share those with the community.  Story-share about personal experiences in productive and meaningful ways.

PURPLE GROUP: Utilize the schools as community gathering spaces for non-school-related events. Create an “ambassador”-type relationship with current parents/families to partner with perspective students and their families.  Greater transparency between the schools and the broader community can build trust and answer resident questions related to the district.

RED GROUP: Online commentary about the schools can often turn negative/toxic — look to “unplug” and have real-world conversations instead.  Sign up for CHUH newsletters/bulletins and emails. Find more opportunities for Heights students/alumni to share their personal stories. Regardless of an individual student/family’s experience with the district, it would be a benefit to have more in-person or non-electronic ways to communicate those stories with the district.

YELLOW GROUP: Create space for even the “tough” conversations regarding the schools — this will increase transparency and trust-building.  Treating schools events as community events would also benefit those who wouldn’t otherwise be in one of the buildings.

Here are some additional ideas for action steps:



Podcasts we recommend:


Topline Takeaways from our Heights-wide survey on the topic of “Our Public Schools”:

Access the complete CC’23 Survey Report on “Our Public Schools” here.