Rebuilding for Learning:  “Ensuring every child has an opportunity to succeed.”  Mr. Jason Witt

Troy Harcey

Dr. Troy D. Harcey

Ask The Ocean The Ways It Is Wet

Submitted by:  Dr. Troy D. Harcey, Associate Superintendent of Instruction, School District of La Crosse

I once heard it said the proverbial litmus test for any relationship (personal or professional) could be boiled down to answering the following pragmatic question…

“Does my relationship with [enter any one of your relationship connections here] compliment, or complicate, the goals and ambitions I have for my life?” 

Clearly, the healthiest relationships are those that compliment your life’s journey—not “every minute,” or even “every day” of course, but the general trend should be in the affirmative. One of many necessary attributes when analyzing complimentary relationship development is favorable communication (i.e. transparent, on-going, honest, etc.).

Further, if effective communication is going to create common ground, springboard deeper insights, and provide a catalyst for mutual growth within a relationship, then it must be renewed, refreshed, “rinsed-n-recycled,” and given a Phoenix-like rebirth periodically. Call it (metaphorically) a spring cleaning of the relationship closet. Okay, poorly done on my part there, but hang with me as I believe this is leading somewhere!

With communication in mind as a staple ingredient for relationship development and maximization, it will come as no surprise that from time to time communication effectiveness ebbs and flows. Sprinkle in the seismic, exponential, and dynamic changes within organizations (e.g. school districts, city and county government, etc.) in our state over the last 5 – 10 years, and it is no wonder that communication can suffer, causing the mist in our minds to become the fog in our common understandings. What we once thought we knew to be true of an organizational practice may be antiquated and obsolete.

A critical aspect of the Rebuilding for Learning effort (a collaborative design including City of La Crosse, La Crosse County, School District of La Crosse, and many frontline youth and family service organizations) is to identify and mitigate overlaps, while also identifying and filling gaps in services to youth and families. We strive for effective communication yielding … you guessed it … complimentary relationships.

For example, as a new member to the Heroin and Other Illicit Drug Task Force, I was asked, “What does the school district do in terms of mental health and AODA efforts.” It is a fair and appropriate inquiry to be certain. That said, as I thought about my response I mused that the question is akin to asking the ocean the various ways that it’s wet. That is to say, it is merely “who we are” in as much as it is “what we do” to support youth in myriad aspects of appropriate development. Still, I did take the opportunity to craft what can most accurately be described as a rather pedestrian “tip of the iceberg” document for review and discussion.

Are you curious as to the various ways the ocean is wet? If so, take a “peek at the peak” of who we are and what we do in the School District of La Crosse as related to mental health and AODA by clicking on the following link:

Heroin and Other Illicit Drug Task Force System of Supports

We will tirelessly seek to harvest and provide stewardship for complimentary relationships as we collectively strive to enhance living, learning, and playing in our outstanding La Crosse Community.