SBCSC superintendent and his team knock on doors for grassroots program

NOW: SBCSC superintendent and his team knock on doors for grassroots program


SOUTH BEND, In. – Knock knock! It’s Dr. Ken Spells! If you live in South Bend, the superintendent of South Bend Community Schools might have paid you a visit this morning.

Spells, his staff and community members canvassed the city’s Westside this morning as part of a Grassroots program to inspire better communication between the corporation and the community.

They all loaded into a school bus, split up into teams, and got to work.

“A lot of positive feedback some were surprised to see us, they were happy we were out in the cold talking to them,” Spells said.  “This was very special we had a judge, several community members, we had principals here, just a great cross section of the community.”

They braved the elements to talk to both corporation and non-corporation families. Darice Austin-Phillips of the SBCSC helped organize the event and she says this is the first tour of many.

“It’s very important to build relationships, and we want people in our community to know that south bend community schools and our community are one,” Phillips said. “So going to the door and talking to someone and putting a face to the name really helps them understand that we are really here for them and we are really one.”

When parents came to do the door they were asked questions like “what are we doing well?” and “what do we need to fix?” If a family wasn’t a part of Team South Bend, they were offered information on what type of learning programs were available and how they could enroll.

Principal of Navarre Schools Angela Busse was a part of the team that went out to talk to families today.

“We try to make it comfortable, even if it’s negative, what they have to say to us,” Busse said. “First of all, people know you’re committed when you go to their home. And you don’t have any agenda other than you’re going to see them to ask your opinion.”

Spells said the goal is to tour the entire community. Despite some bad headlines recently, the corporation wants parent and everyone in the community to know they are working on improving things and they need the community’s feedback to do that.

“I like getting out in the community; I just like supporting this city,” Spells said.

So if Dr. Spells and his team didn’t knock on your door today, they might be paying you a visit very soon.

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