On August 12, 2015, the School District of La Crosse, in partnership with La Crosse County and the City of La Crosse held its fifth annual Rebuilding for Learning Summit at the La Crosse Center. This year’s summit grew in size again with more than 230 participants. It’s an opportunity for leaders of the School District of La Crosse to work side-by-side with the many community leaders and organizations who supplement the work of our educators by providing community supports for children and families.
Our overall goal is to provide more than just a ‘safety net’, a hackneyed phrase we use many times to describe the general work that we do in the community to support students and their families. I contend, however, that a ‘safety net’ is no long sufficient to meet the needs of our community’s children. When I think of a safety net, I visualize acrobatics of some sort…..or the circus and that daring young man on the flying trapeze….swinging from one bar to the next some thirty feet from the hard surface of the floor. Just above the floor, is a safety net which will cushion the fall. Knowing the safety net is there, the acrobat may take additional risks knowing that there is safety below.
In reality, the safety net does nothing more than break the fall to the floor. Through our rebuilding for learning efforts, we try to make the safety net more like a trampoline — something so tightly woven that when one falls on to it, they have the capacity to spring back up in to action at the top of the arena. The collaboration that we do together can tighten that fabric…….and it stands as the primary purpose for this collaborative summit.
In 2016, the summit will be expanded to include all of our teaching staff as well, creating an audience of more than 800. The extent to which we are able to tighten our fabric and make our supports more like a trampoline will directly impact the overall academic performance of our students and close gaps at the same time. Congratulations to the summit planning team for a job more than well done! The work is long and sometimes arduous, but it’s the right work — with our community and its families at the forefront.