OUR VIEW: It really does take a villageThe point: It’s wonderful to see the community come together to support ECISD.

Nothing really sounds exciting about strategic planning.

Does it?

Certainly not but it is amazing to see that hundreds of people were willing to take time out of their busy lives to gather this week to begin the main part of Ector County Independent School District’s strategic planning process.

About 200 people from across the community gathered at the Odessa High School Performing Arts Center Monday and broke into action teams related to the part of the plan they will cover. The pillars include teaching and learning; human resources; funding and finance; facilities and infrastructure; climate and culture; and communications and community partnerships.

 “Each pillar has two action teams. They’ll actually write action plans around the strategies that the strategic planning team built,” Deputy Superintendent Stephanie Howard said.

There were lots of ECISD employees but also a cross section of parents, students, community and business leaders and those from higher education at the event.

What better way to get community buy in to fix what ails our education system than to include everyone?

ECISD has certainly had ups and downs and struggles. But we all know that nothing will come together without the community behind the district. Sometimes it might be an encouraging word and sometimes it might be more that – some muscle behind pushing things in a positive and bright direction.

There are so many talented and world class folks living and working right here in the Permian Basin. Getting them to get on board and to help students succeed will help all of us succeed.

A better future is just right out there and the school district can get there.

Even students were fired up about the involvement.

Maddie Olague, a junior at Odessa High School, and Chasadea Cox, a junior at Permian High School, said they were glad to be involved.

“… Being a student in Odessa High School, I feel like we now have an impact and our words mean something and it’s not just like hearing rumors, like starting them.You know what’s going on. You have insight and you understand what they’re going to do with our schools and building our education and fine arts programs and such,” Olague said.

Cox agreed.

“I feel like it’s really nice because we’re being included and they’re hearing voices from the teachers that teach the students every day and the students who are really the ones who are participating in the classes. And we know firsthand what needs to be fixed, so it’s really nice to be included,” Cox said.

Yes, inclusion and reaching out to help each other. It is time for all of Odessa to come together and use this village to reach success.