"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Come Early to Get a Good Seat at the March 12 School Board Meeting

I know the agenda has yet to be published, but as they summarized the agenda coming forward to the school board meeting on March 12 at the Feb 26 meeting, I knew this meant 1) March 12 is going to be a long meeting and 2) a lot of interested parties will attend that don't normally do so. The district has already anticipated this and changed the normal venue to TRIS LMC (library for us old farts), entrance through the Fair Street (bus) doors. The staff has been planning to bring food and hunker down for the duration. Start time is 6:00. Come early for best viewing!

The two top drawing cards for attendance will be:

1). The Citizen Advisory Committee presentation of its recommendations to the school board based on the recent community survey.

2). The 4K Investigative Committee's presentation and recommendations to the school board based on their research and the survey results.

Either of these two presentations would increase attendance, but both items will likely increase public comment time and fill the library with interested parties. If you have something to say about either of these items, come have your 5 minutes of fame. The lousy weather has shifted the timing on the 4KIC presentation from 2-26 to 3-12, but given that the information from the survey wasn't available until two days prior to the expected presentation date of 2-26, that was probably a hidden bonus. Now there is time to put together a well-designed presentation that reflects all the hard work of the committee. The 4KIC is practicing on March 10 in the TRIS library for those interested in a preview. Paula Lander's leadership of this committee has been the epitome of professionalism and has made all the difference to the final product. Our district is very lucky to have her as curriculum coordinator and I hope they recognize that.

I don't remember all the other agenda items coming forward to the next meeting, but they will probably approve the Girl's Hockey co-op with the Stoughton (currently) 4-op, again with parents shouldering the burden of (really high) costs here. Pay periods, Press Box, Budget updates this year and next, Insurance updates, etc. will probably reappear. Basically all the items on the Budget portion of the last meeting might come up again in the discussion section of the next meeting. I don't know if the paperless board packets will come to this meeting, but Doreen said she would do a cost analysis of the various forms of what "paperless" means. I'll try to remember to post the agenda when available later this week!

One disturbing comment came up when discussing the pros and cons of changing to a policy governance model (only 12 districts out of 426 currently use it in Wisconsin). "Their meetings seem to be shorter," was mentioned as a perk. Some of the current board members seem to rate productivity of board meetings with how quickly they are finished. Too bad for our district. I always thought how well a board advocates for the education of ALL of its students was the most important measure of productivity for a school board. Taking a peek at the open enrollment net deficit alone, I'm thinking a few more hours might be called for. That is all, except if you want this attitude to be challenged:

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