Leadership St. Vrain (LSV) was established in the Fall of 2009 as an annual training program for parents and other stakeholders in the St. Vrain Valley School District. Members meet once a month to learn about the “business of education”. Everything from safety and nutrition to curriculum and finance. District Communications Director John Poynton likes to refer to this as the “know how and the know who” of our school district.
The benefits of bringing people together and helping them learn about the business of education, are extensive. Participants graduate from the program feeling empowered to advocate effectively for St. Vrain students. They can ask questions and get answers from the sources, and start to understand who the decision makers are and what rules they have to play by. When people understand the issues and challenges, they are more willing and able to talk about solutions.
All Grassroots St. Vrain (GSV) board members, past and present, are graduates of LSV. They have a solid, base understanding of the public education system from individual classrooms all the way up to the state legislature. Board members use the knowledge they have gained and the relationships they have built to compile information to share with GSV subscribers.
Leadership St. Vrain is beginning its 5th year and has proven very successful in its mission. Other districts in Colorado have looked to St. Vrain with the goal of modeling similar programs in their own school districts. There are seven Colorado school districts who will be implementing their own versions of LSV this fall. In addition, John Poynton and Laura McDonald (co-founders of LSV), presented the LSV concept at a national conference in San Diego in July, resulting in interest from several school districts in other states.
Collectively, through programs like Leadership St. Vrain and Grassroots St. Vrain, we can create a strong voice for education in the St. Vrain Valley and beyond. It must happen from the bottom up – at a grassroots level.
If you are interested in finding out more about the LSV opportunity, please go to the SVVSD website and link under Committees.