During a year of historic challenges, leaders from the Hockinson School District reached out to our community to learn more about its current perceptions of, and future ambitions for, Hockinson Schools. In conversations with community members, staff, students and board members, a theme continued to emerge: Hockinson schools are an integral part of Hockinson’s identity and sense of community.
“Community and Communications” is one of the three main priorities of the HSD’s Strategic Plan. In an effort to better meet this goal, a survey was given to a focus group of staff, parent, and student representatives and members of the Citizens Advisory Committee last fall. The survey aimed to identify words or phrases that best describe Hockinson Schools’ strengths and areas of growth, as well as what makes Hockinson special. A recurring analogy showed up in the responses: Hockinson Schools are the “heart of the community.” In follow-up discussions, respondents noted a number of examples that illustrated this sentiment: a sign on the main road to Hockinson proudly states, “We heart Hockinson.” Another reads, “We love our teachers.” A historic levy button found in our archives says, “I heart Hockinson.” Wherever we looked, we saw a heart theme.
It became clear that “schools are the heart of Hockinson” is a heartfelt representation of how this community feels about its schools. Looking back, this makes sense. As long as the Hockinson School District has existed, schools have been at the geographic and cultural center of our close-knit Hockinson community.
It has been said that strong schools help support strong communities. We also know that a supportive community helps to create strong schools. The school-community connection works both ways. So we are excited to celebrate the special relationship between Hockinson’s schools and its families. Expect to see more “Heart of the Community” imagery on Hockinson school publications as well as around our campuses and town in the coming months. We hope that it reminds everyone—staff, students, families, and community members—that when it comes to getting through challenges and educating our future, we are all in this together.