WSESD Communications Council Meeting Minutes


12:30pm Friday, August 4, 2023


Attendance: Ruby McAdoo (RMA), Robin Morgan (RM)

I. Call to Order / Introductions / Recognition of Visitors

The meeting was called to order at 12:30

II. Brattleboro board seat outreach: discuss plans for “meet ups” to encourage board candidacy in Brattleboro (bring suggestions to 8/8/23 board meeting).

The committee reviewed outreach suggestions:
a radio ad

outreach by superintendent to former teachers

request for principals to send a message to currently enrolled families

asking Brattleboro-based schools’ Leadership Councils to announce this vacancy at their first meeting of the school year

A meet and greet event where interested parties could talk to current board members to learn more about serving on the board.

The committee acknowledged there may not be a simple way to send a message out to former teachers. There was support for communication through principals to currently enrolled families and in leadership council meetings.

Plans for a Meet and Greet with school board representatives were developed. The Communications Council recommends a casual meet up at The Works with at least two of the Brattleboro board members and at least one additional member who can also support families who bring children if needed. RMA will contact The Works to plan logistics for this. This should be warned as a casual event hosted by the board to ensure there is not an accidental violation of open meeting law.

The Council discussed an informational blurb that could be included in communications to families, leadership councils, and in promotion of the meet and greet event. The blurb should explain the time commitment, compensation, and the responsibilities of the board. It should
include the following information:

The board is seeking to appoint a representative from Brattleboro to complete a vacated term. The appointment will last until March 2024 with an adjusted compensation of about $3500.

The role of a school board member is to be part of a team focused on ensuring a high quality education for all students and fiscally responsible operation of the district.

The board meets twice a month with a goal of meetings no longer than three hours (but they sometimes are longer). Sometimes additional meetings or trainings are necessary.
Each board member serves as a board representative to one of the Leadership Councils, which normally meet once a month for 2 hours or less.

All board members are invited to serve on subcommittees of their choosing.

Between board meetings, board members must warrants for expenditures by the district and are invited to contribute to board meeting agendas.

Board members must maintain confidentiality about privileged information.

An invitation for interested parties to reach out to any board member via email if they would like to know more about board service.

RM volunteered to write up a paragraph covering these points.

In addition to promoting this through public postings and social media, the Communications Council recommends that board members personally contact individual people in the community to invite them to consider this. Many current board members were initially inspired to serve on the board by people reaching out directly to encourage them to do so.

III. Check in on previous items:
a. Communications for district: possible recommendation for district to have a communications council

This item was tabled until a future meeting.

b. District Calendar: recommendations for clarity
This item was tabled until a future meeting.

c. Ideas for community engagement
A topic of concern expressed in the board meeting was how to encourage more people to serve on leadership councils. RMA shared some explanatory graphics (shown below) created by the PCS Leadership Council that could be shared with the rest of the district, with language
that emphasizes that Leadership Councils are for anyone who cares about the school and the community. There is a need to help people understand why they might be valuable additions to their school’s Leadership Council.

IV. Consider plan for future meetings (as needed)
The next meeting was planned for September 8 at 12:00

V. Adjourn
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30

Minutes submitted by Robin Morgan. These minutes should be considered provisional until approved by the committee at a future meeting.

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