After learning from parents that realtors were dropping hints for them not to buy homes in certain neighborhoods because the schools were perceived as “below par,” the Ticket to Ride Realtor Tour was created to provide local realtors an opportunity to go inside school facilities to witness the use of modern technology, experience content rigor, and see the high levels of student engagement and learning happening at all schools throughout the county.
Tours were arranged by feeder patterns (schools zoned to serve particular areas of the county). A total of five tours, featuring the county’s five feeder patterns, were conducted over a three-month period. Realtors were transported by school bus to each school site, allowing them to completely experience the day in a life of a student. Tours were led by students, lending authenticity and honesty to discussions and answers to questions. Pre- and post-surveys show that the tours changed negative perceptions realtors had of some of the schools. One surprise that came out of the tour was that some of the high- functioning schools were perceived to be pretentious or snobby. That perception also changed.