WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mayor Doug Franklin and Warren City Schools Superintendent Steve Chiaro met with parents Thursday night to talk about concerns with the school and community.
Franklin and Chiaro walked into Willard School with no agenda or talking points. They just came prepared to listen.
Every parent and student in the district was given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the superintendent and mayor at their school. Invitations were mailed out with the report cards.
“We want our families to be heard as we move our district forward and as we move our city forward. We feel that we can only do so with input and support,” Chiaro said. “It’s important to listen and this is just an opportunity to listen. Any parent that has concerns or issues that they bring forward, if we can’t answer them today, we are going to get back to them in a very short period.”
Several had questions and concerns, ranging from bus stop safety to flooded roads.
“My first concern was the bus stop for the kids that get off by Niles Road and the post office, because there is no sidewalk there,” Elizabeth Howard said.
“I know a student that walks from Warren G. Harding all the way to Homewood off of Niles Rd.,” said Tamisha Howard, of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative.
Both community leaders plan to continue these events in the future.
“I feel that what we were saying was not only heard, but listened to,” Tamisha said.
She hopes that more parents will take advantage of the one-on-one time.
“It’s power in numbers. If you have more people speaking out about things, then maybe more things will be changed.”
Mayor Franklin says the success of the schools is a key part to the growth of the community.
“When everyone is looking at your community, they look at your streets and infrastructure and your crime stats but more importantly, they look at your schools and the quality of education,” he said. “We are doing good on both tracks, but we want to improve and get better and in order to do that, we need to work together.”
The mayor left with a fairly lengthy to do list. He said some of those items will be on the desk of his safety director by Friday.