Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lack of Community Engagement leads to community EnRAGEment

Deep down inside, even the school board knows they screwed up. Of course they'd never publicly admit that, but secretly they know their actions over the course of the past year meant that they had violated the pooch, so to speak.

One thing Jim Carrel pushed for before he resigned his seat was the development of a special board sub-committee tasked with determining how the board could best win back public support. So the board voted to establish the "Community Engagement Task Force ". They held a bunch of meetings, as board-established task forces are wont to do, and on August 11, 2008, the committee's recommendations were presented to the board.

One key question the task force was charged with was answering the question,

"What can the School Board do to get community input into their work?"

The committee's answer came in the form of three suggestions. Each has been annotated with a simple "Yes/No" to indicate whether any action has been taken to-date.

1.Establish an on-going standing committee
NO           Enabled to call a community response team / study circle for use on specific issues
NO           Use same methodology as the community response team for the high school

NO           The community engagement committee will guide and review the implementation of these and future community engagement recommendations

2.Improve Board member accessibility

NO           More face-to-face interaction
NO           “Meet the Board” sessions
NO           Listening sessions (at schools and within community)
NO           Booth at Corn Fest/community events / public venues
NO           Host/attend community/city events
NO           Town Hall Meetings

3.Leverage the Web (it is the future)
NO           Public forum links
NO           On-line bulletin board
NO           On-line comment card
NO           Redesign website
NO           Call-in radio web show
NO           Set up/maintain blog

So....what are we waiting for, board members. Signs suggest that many more community members have become less enthralled with your behaviors and your direction.
What do you have to say for it?