Communications Council for the Windham Southeast School District Agenda and Minutes

Communications Council for the Windham Southeast School District

The Communications Council of the WSESD will meet on Friday, October 15, 2021
at 9:00 a.m. at the Dutton Pines State Forest Park Shelter, Route 5, Dummerston and
via Zoom: 

Meeting ID: 837 7870 2902
Passcode: FHb1ax
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Meeting ID: 837 7870 2902
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I. Call to Order
II. Agenda additions/changes
III. Appoint committee positions
IV. Approval of Minutes – August 19, 2021
V. Review past committee work, calendar, and responsibilities –
VI. Recommended protocol for Board/LC communications
VII. Schedule and implementation of email sign up lists for board and committee
VIII. Outreach for Board appointed independent budget review committee
IX. Social Media outreach
X. Comprise upcoming agenda items
XI. Establish recurring Communication Council monthly meetings
XII. Adjourn

Communications Council for the Windham Southeast School District


Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 12:00 Noon

Michelle called the meeting to order at 12:10.

In attendance: Michelle Luetjen Green, Ruby McAdoo, Tim Maciel, Robin Morgan
The minutes of May 20, 2021 were approved unanimously.
There was a discussion about whether Central Office could send out notice of Leadership Council meetings as well as the board-related meetings. Anyone who wants to access those meetings should be able to sign up for invitations to the meetings. This could be done the same way as all the rest of the board subcommittees, send out to interested parties and school communities via Central Office. It would add a workload of sending 10-20 brief emails per month. Currently this is the responsibility of principals and/or LC chairs but the meetings are not being publicized consistently across the district.
The council discussed the scope and direction of this committee. The Communications Council was instituted to increase engagement with the board’s work and facilitate effective communication. We discussed how this could apply to our role in strengthening the structure of the leadership councils. The development of the LC’s is the superintendent’s responsibility. Our committee’s role could be making recommendations for how the board can engage more fully with the LCs and allow for a 2-way flow of communication. The LC summit could also fall under the Communications Council’s role, as part of facilitating communication between LCs across schools.
We need to understand what the expectations of the LCs are in order to engage them. LCs are a similar structure to focus groups used for hiring new administrators. They are not elected officials but they provide necessary community input into school and district level decision-making. The bullet points in the policy are very broad and don’t provide binding guidance about what the LCs are for. Some LCs seem to be evolving into “enhanced” PTOs. A directive from the board would be helpful for administrators to review the policy with their LCs and give feedback to the board so they can determine specific guidance about what the LCs should be doing.
The council discussed the need for transparency and community outreach around the superintendent hiring process and the WSESU actions in general. Updates are urgently needed about where the process is and what is the avenue for community input.

There was a also a discussion of the legacy of teacher sexual assault of students at BUHS, as detailed in the recent article in The Commons. There is a deep need for transparency and community outreach around this issue as well.
A discussion of the monthly meeting cycle began – to continue over email.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:59pm.

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