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Thoughtexchange Results on a New High School Design

The results are now available from the Thoughtexchange engagement process that the District conducted this spring. Thanks to the many parents, students, staff and community members who participated by sharing their thoughts and ideas for the new high school design.

Before exploring these results, please read Superintendent Joel Aune’s message below to learn how the High School Design Team is using this data in planning for an improved school design. This message is also being sent via email to all parents, staff, high school students.

Superintendent's Message:


Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Patrons:

Earlier this spring, Valley residents were invited to participate in our District’s third Thoughtexchange community engagement process. The purpose of this process was to gather and study the perspective and priorities of our community regarding the rebuild of Mount Si High School.

The response from our community was very strong, with nearly 1,300 participants sharing approximately 3,000 thoughts and assigning more than 87,000 stars to their top priorities. Among the participants, 67% were parents/guardians, 12% high school students, 10% staff members, 8% staff who are also parents, and 3% community members.

The feedback has been shared with the High School Design Team. The team, comprised of staff, students, parents, administrators and architects, began work shortly after the passage of the bond last February. The strong level of participation in the Thoughtexchange process provided the team with information that will be incorporated into their planning as the design for the new high school continues to take shape.

What did we learn?
At a high level, the themes and priorities that emerged from the community mirror key concepts that the Design Team was already contemplating for the new school design. The process has also helped validate that the Team is on the right track for creating a school design that is closely aligned with our community’s priorities; a design that will best meet the needs of our students for many years to come.

Many of the ideas that emerged were most relevant to the current work of the Design Team as they make progress toward finalization of a conceptual design for our new high school. Other ideas will be helpful during future phases of the school design process, when more specific detail and definitive features are added to the building design plan. Below is a brief description of the most commonly discussed ideas which are grouped into broad “themes” that emerged from this Thoughtexchange.

Key learnings for conceptual design:
  • Safe and secure building design – ensuring the layout is easy to secure and supports a positive school culture
  • Open layout with flexibility– creating an open design in common areas as well as flexible classroom spaces that facilitate student learning
  • A sense of community – integrating the scenic beauty and history of the area into the design while keeping function at the forefront
  • Minimal disruption to learning – planning construction so that the negative impact on students is minimized
  • Efficient system for vehicle traffic – providing ample parking and an efficient drop off system
Key learnings for future design phases:
  • Sustainable and energy efficient – incorporating systems into the facility that are energy efficient to minimize utility costs
  • Maximize natural lighting – installing windows throughout the new high school to benefit learning and the school environment
  • Modern academic resources – providing cutting edge academic facilities with the technology infrastructure to support it now and into the future
  • Broad learning opportunities – supporting rich learning opportunities in both traditional academics and career-relevant, experiential courses
  • Art facilities and resources – supporting the award-winning music and arts programs with modern facilities
For detailed results of this Thoughtexchange, click here to explore the interactive web report.
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Thank you again for assisting us with this exciting work through your participation in the Thoughtexchange process.

Joel Aune
Superintendent