Community Conversations

The Mason City School District regularly engages in community conversations to ensure that our schools are meeting students' needs, and residents' expectations.

  • 1999-2000: Community Dialogues about facilities that resulted in the School Board making the decision to go with one high school. (Community approved bond issue to build Mason High School.)

  • 2003: Community Dialogues about facilities that resulted in the School Board making decision to build an early childhood center to educate all the district’s preschool, kindergarten and first grade students. (Community approved bond issue to build the Mason Early Childhood Center.)

  • 2004: Community Coffees about financial needs that resulted in the School Board making the decision to ask voters to approve an operating levy. (Community approved May 2005 operating levy.)

  • 2006: Community Dialogue about enrollment and facilities that resulted in the School Board making decision to build the Z-pod addition to Mason High School as was originally planned. (Community approved May 2007 bond issue to build addition.)

  • 2007: State of the Schools to share feedback about what learning should look like for Mason student that resulted in the administration adding Mandarin at the high school and a Spanish Elementary special.

  • 2007-2008: Community Conversations about racial and religious diversity with African-American families, Asian families, Hispanic families, Jewish families, and Muslim families that resulted in all district staff receiving additional diversity training and changes to some district procedures.

  • 2009: State of the Schools and surveys about the district’s budget and spending plans that resulted in the administration developing a 10-Year Plan laying out academic, cost-reduction and communication targets. It was hoped that the majority of the staff reductions could be achieved by attrition.

  • 2010: Community Conversation about the district’s 10 Year Plan which resulted in the School Board making the decision to ask voters to approve an operating levy. (Community rejected a Nov. 2010 operating levy.)

  • 2010-2011: Listening Sessions and online surveys to gather public input regarding the district's direction, and the actions that should be taken following the November 2010 levy failure. Feedback resulted in the administration escalating the 10-Year Plan cost-reduction targets and School Board not asking voters for a levy.

  • 2011: Community forum and online survey to gather input about qualities the next superintendent should possess after Superintendent Dr. Kevin Bright announced intention to retire. Board used feedback when making decision to hire next superintendent, Dr. Gail Kist-Kline.

  • 2012: Online survey and Community Presentation to gather feedback into district’s elementary consolidation plan. Administration used feedback to close Mason Heights rather than Western Row Elementary.

  • 2012: Over 300 residents participate in informal coffee conversations in their neighbor’s homes with Superintendent Dr. Gail Kist-Kline about district’s direction and educational changes including Ohio’s new learning standards, shifting evaluation systems for teachers and principals and reductions in funding. Administration used feedback to improve communication by launching an Annual Report, and district Twitter and Facebook accounts.

  • 2013: Town Hall and online surveys to gather input about programming and secondary schedules, as well as the district’s Vision and Bold Steps: Global Learning, Student Leadership, Anytime – Anywhere Learning, and Individualized Learning. Administration used feedback to refine the plan for moving to semesters and eliminating teaming at Mason Middle School.

  • 2014: Facility Planning Town Halls, Twitter Town Hall and online survey to gather input about the district’s Facility Master Plan. Feedback resulted in the administration delaying any significant facility updates until Mason’s Ohio Schools Facility Commission money becomes available.

  • 2014-2015: Parent and student focus groups and online surveys to gather input about personalized devices. Feedback resulted in District requiring student-owned or leased devices at the middle school with plan to require at high school, and providing devices in elementary schools.

  • 2016: Community Forums and online survey to gather input and encourage family conversation about parenting in the digital age. Feedback helped refine school protocols at the elementary and secondary levels, and raised awareness for families seeking to limit digital drama, while encouraging good digital citizenship.
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