Communications Council for the Windham Southeast School District
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING
The Communications Council of the WSESD will meet Friday, September 4th, 2020 at 12:00 Noon via Zoom Video Conferencing:
Join Zoom Meeting:
Phone Number if you want an alternative to the video conference: 929-205-6099
Meeting ID: 832 1439 5551
I. Call to Order
II. Minute Approval
III. Recognition of Visitors
IV. Agenda Additions/Changes
V. Communication Tools for District
a. Facebook Page
b. Email – how is it working
c. Remote students
VI. Leadership Council Summit
a. Pick a fall date and invite all members of leadership council to share ideas
VII. Next Meeting: October 1st, 4:30pm
The Windham Southeast School District Board
Communications Council Special Meeting
Tuesday, August 4th, 2-3pm, via Zoom
• CALL TO ORDER
Jaime called the meeting to order at 2:04 p.m.
• Vote for Chair
Robin nominated Michelle, Jaime seconded. All in favor
• Vote for Clerk
Jaime nominated Robin, Michelle seconded – note taking duties will rotate. All in favor.
• Recognition of Visitors – David Schoales
• Review of Minutes from Previous Meetings
Jaime made motion to approve Jan and Feb minutes, Michelle seconded, all voted in favor.
• Previous Mission Statement: “Mission: Increase public engagement with the board’s work through effective communications”
Jaime shared that the history of council had been to encourage information flow about the process of the merger.
The council discussed clarifying what the role of the board should be now that the merger process is complete and we are a unified district. There was a consensus that the role should be based in helping the school board coordinate communication efforts for public outreach. The need to work thoughtfully to create consistency and accessibility of communication was discussed.
• Updating Website
David shared that the board is seeking an outside contractor to work on making the website more up to date and intuitive to use.
The CC will assist in identifying outdated or expired information to be corrected ASAP
• Plan to communicate between board and community
The council discussed the process for utilizing district communication tools like school messenger, email lists, and robocalls to communicate with teachers and parents in a unified way, while taking into consideration the already heavy workload of Central Office staff. David shared that a new HR Director was hired at Central Office and, when settled into her new role, she could also assist with communications.
The council discussed ways to outreach to teacher, parent, and community populations.
Michelle brought up the need for unified consistent communication as a district. An email sign up list for various board and committee meetings and leadership councils was proposed. The form to sign up could be introduced as a new communication system and widely publicized through press channels, social media, and the district communication tools mentioned above.
The council also discussed creating a structure for parents and teachers to anonymously communicate concerns, issues, and feedback to the district, in situations where they didn’t feel comfortable communicating directly with their principal or superintendent or preferred anonymity.
Leadership councils were also discussed. They may need clarity and guidance on what their role encompasses. Jaime suggested creating a summit for all leadership council members across the district to meet and share strategies and tools. The CC recommends consideration of a district wide Summit for Leadership Council Development for these reasons and to include enhanced community communications and involvement.
The council has three specific considerations/requests that we would like approval or action on by the WSESD board as needed:
1) Creation of a google form to sign up for email or robocall of all board meetings, committee meetings, and leadership council meetings (respondents could choose which ones they are interested in) to all teachers, staff, parents, and community members.
Ideally the sign up form would be sent out to all parents and teachers twice a year and the communications council would publicize it to the WSESD communities.
2) Support for the exploration and development of an avenue for stakeholders to share concerns and feedback when anonymity is preferred.
3) Approve the creation by CC members of social media outlets representing the WSESD School Board. Such outlets would share information about meetings and other districtlevel communications. Communications council members would serve collectively as admins overseeing these outlets and what is distributed. The outlets will share information only that mirrors website information and publicized communications from the WSESD School board and central office. Social media outlets will have minimal direct public interaction and only direct the public to information sources. Opinions, subjective explanations, nor personal reflections may be contributed by admins in any way. Community standards requiring respectful, ethical, and appropriate participation will mirror current standards held district wide.
• Reopening Plan
More communication with parents and teachers is needed. The difficulty is that the board and superintendent are also waiting on state-level information and guidance themselves and developing information to share. The CC would like to support central office communications and recommends consistency and transparency.
Scheduled unified release of information from central office when distributed through school administrators.
Transparency on the status of developing reopening structure and known and anticipated complications.
Transparency in representation of reopening committees. Specifically the make-up of each committee, who the committee members are and how faculty members were selected.
The three actions above would also support greater communication around this.
• Next Meeting
The council planned to meet monthly on Fridays – next one on Friday August 21st, time TBA Meeting adjourned abruptly due to technical difficulties at apprixametly 4:04p.m.