As you know the election did not go our way. We are happy that all of our preferred candidates ran a clean campaign and drew contrast between themselves and their competitors without resorting to personal attacks, untrue accusations or fear-mongering. We’d like to thank our many volunteers who supported and promoted our candidates.
We would like to congratulate the incumbents and one challenger, look forward to working with the Board, District and community moving forward. We hope the trustees hold fast to the District Values and accept their responsibility to represent and work with their constituency, even those with whom they disagree. The next school board meeting (agenda here) is Monday, September 12 where the trustees will be sworn in.
Just as we would like to see the District work from the “bottom-up”, meaning the opinions/needs/input of parents and teachers inform decisions rather than decisions being made at the District-level with minimal input from parents and teachers, here are a few suggestions on how you can be involved and help from the “bottom-up”:
Focus on your own families first. Be involved parents, build relationships with and pour into your kids, intentionally instill your own values into them at-home (District and school values are to be taught at school, all other values should be left to be taught at home). Communicate with your kids about what’s going on at school, check in with their google classrooms, if possible, so you can discuss certain topics at home or request alternate material (see #5 below), and support them as kids and students.
Support other families and kids at your school if you are able. Have kids over, be available to help a neighbor or your kids’ friends, etc.
Support your schools, build relationships with your kids’ teachers (send them encouraging e–mails, check-in to see if they need anything), volunteer, join the PTO (you can help PTO even if you don’t attend meetings or make decisions, they always need workers), donate to your kids’ classrooms, sign up to be a substitute teacher, if possible.
Resolve issues respectfully, at-school using the chain of command. Always start with the teacher/staff member and only proceed to the next level if absolutely necessary. Assume the best of intentions or a mistake on behalf of whomever you are confronting and do so respectfully. Most issues are misunderstandings or mistakes rather than malice. Just like how we’re less likely to work with our kids when they’re yelling at us, the teacher/principal/District admin/Board are less likely to work with us if we’re rude, disrespectful, or aggressive.
If there are certain topics you know ahead of time you’d prefer to teach at home, be proactive in communicating that to the teacher(s). Ask for syllabi, reading lists, etc. ahead of time so you can review/research and request an alternate or opt your child out. This prevents us as parents from being reactionary and being upset about something right before, during, or after it’s been presented. It also gives the teacher enough time to provide alternate material, if necessary.
Learn how to navigate the student/staff handbooks and the District Policy Manual so you can refer to it, when needed.
Stay up on board meetings and provide appropriate feedback. Read the agenda (or our summary) ahead of time, attend or watch the board meetings, read the meeting minutes (or our summary) afterwards. While it may not seem like it makes a difference, this played a role in the proposed dress code changes to be sent back to District administration so respectful feedback does have an impact. Here’s what we’ll be working on and please let us know if you’d like to assist in any of these areas:
Attend board meetings and workshops
Request the workshops be live-streamed or video/archived so patrons may view remotely. Currently the meetings are live-streamed, but the workshops are not.
Request a semi-annually or quarterly Q&A session during months when there is no workshop scheduled
Request the District public relations committee to e-mail board meeting agendas and meeting minutes after the meeting (with the caveat that the meeting minutes haven’t been approved yet) to the e-mail distribution list as well as post on social media.
Request more detail on the committee meeting minutes so that patrons may inquire/provide input BEFORE a topic makes it to a board meeting.
Thank you for your support and involvement for our schools, staff, and students.