by Paul Johnson, Spooner School Board Clerk
SASD Committee Restructure – Trial Period
The SASD School Board is transitioning from a committee model of five standing committees consisting of three School Board members to a Committee of the Whole (COW) format where all seven Board members form one standing committee. This change will take place in October 2018 and a trial period will run through April 2019. A decision on the permanent structure of committees will be determined after the trial period.
After significant research, the SASD School Board determined that the COW structure warrant a trial run. Enhanced communication opportunities and added transparency were factors the Board found important.
I see this as a Benefit for all stakeholders, School Board members, parents/families, District staff members, community members, and especially students. A common understanding of the issues coming before the Board should be presented to the board in its entirety. This format will provide opportunities for everyone to have information before decisions are made. By meeting as a group, this offers each board member to have the same information and be part of the discussions allowing processing time before the business meeting, where action is taken. The Committee as a Whole is a more informal allowing more discussions. The COW format will enable the student, parents, and community members to ask questions and speak on topics at the meetings. This as opposed to the Community Comments section of the board meetings where there is no back and forth dialog. By attending COW meetings, people can learn more about the process and have their voices heard.
During this COW trial, each meeting will end with an agenda item allowing discussion for input from the board members to comment about what went positive, and what areas could be improved if this were to become a permanent format. The COW will take place in the choir room, the first Monday of each month beginning at 5:00 PM. We intend to live stream just as our monthly meeting is now.
Paul Johnson - Board Clerk
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