UnifiEd will launch the second phase of the APEX Bus Tour with a stop at STEM School Thursday. This phase follows a weeklong tour in December, during which more than 650 people voted on their top priorities to achieve equity for all children across Hamilton County public schools. The bus tour is part of the process developing the community-driven Action Plan for Educational eXcellence, or APEX Project. Community members are invited to provide their input on a list of 25 issues in an interactive exhibit outfitted on a small school bus today through Jan. 21.
A “virtual bus tour” has also been online since the conclusion of the first phase of the bus tour in December. This online voting option is available on UnifiEd’s website through Friday.
The list of issues is the product of the APEX survey, which was open to the public from August through November. It asked what issues of inequity -- and solutions to them -- that community members identified in Hamilton County public schools. More than 2,600 people participated in the survey.
UnifiEd’s research and policy department analyzed the survey responses and identified the 25 most frequently mentioned issues and solutions. Through the bus tour, the community is now being asked to prioritize which of these issues need to be acted upon most urgently by elected officials, the Hamilton County Department of Education central office administration, individual schools, community members, and community organizations.
Each of these categories is explained through an interactive exhibit outfitted in the little red school bus known as The Passage, a mobile classroom owned by local teachers Brittany Harris and Colleen Ryan that visits homes to teach parents strategies to effectively help their students. This phase of the APEX Bus Tour will last from Jan. 11-21. Stops will include recreation centers, shopping malls, churches, sports fields, community events, and high schools. The full schedule of stops can be found on UnifiEd’s website.
The issues and solutions with the most votes will be matched with best practice research on solutions proven to work in schools across the country to solve similar issues. These solutions will be the Action Plan for Educational eXcellence policy platform, to be released in February.
UnifiEd is a community-led movement of parents, teachers, and citizens who want every student in Hamilton County to have the chance to attend great public schools. The organization works to educate the community about how to help teachers and students, offers training and tools to advocate for them, and encourages a unified voice around public education to create real and lasting change, said officials. Learn more at www.unifi-ed.org.