Arcadia Unified School District


Arcadia USD engages community on a deeper level

Arcadia Unified in southern California is a destination school district heavily focused on preparing its 10,000 students for Ivy League post secondary opportunities. The District’s parent community is highly motivated and expects to be involved in the decisions that affect their children’s education.

Despite their desire to engage, however, most parents struggle to attend the District’s face-to-face meetings. Dr. David Vannasdall, Arcadia Unified’s Superintendent, believes that parents shouldn’t be expected to forgo their career and family obligations to have a voice in their children’s education. “We just cannot expect that engagement is going to happen between 8:00 and 3:00 anymore. It needs to be open sourced, it needs to be available when people are available,” says Dr. Vannasdall.

With the introduction of California’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) legislation two years ago, engagement participation and accessibility became even bigger priorities for Arcadia. That’s when Dr. David Vannasdall, turned to Thoughtexchange’s non-traditional format to engage his community on a deeper level and enhance and enrich their existing engagement efforts.

"Thoughtexchange saved us a tremendous amount of time because we were able to reach everyone in the same process. Normally it would take months to get input from all of our stakeholder groups. To be able to run one process, and get that amount of feedback from parents, community members, the business community and students is very important to us."DR. DAVID VANNASDALL, SUPERINTENDENT