Soldotna Area Schools
Reconfiguration Newsletter September 10, 2013
Today it begins...
Today our Soldotna Area Schools Reconfiguration Advisory Committee meetings begin. This newsletter is just a reminder that the meeting begins at 5:30pm in the Soldotna Middle School Library. The Advisory Committee is welcome to come early to enjoy Pizza Boys Pizza at 5:00pm, we will begin the meeting promptly at 5:30.
In other reconfiguration news, last night the plan for selecting the administration for the reconfigured schools was presented to Kenai Borough School Board. See the full minutes by following links on the district web page: http://www.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/ . An update and perhaps the announcement of the administration positions will be presented to the Board at the October 14 meeting. Because this is an issue concerning personnel, no announcements will be made until the Board meeting.
For those planning to attend tonight's meeting, I have pasted the communication I sent to the Advisory Committee which includes the agenda. This is a newly formed committee and so foundational operating norms will need to be established first. There are no decisions scheduled for tonight but we will identify the topics the committee intends to present recommendations on and begin discussion as well as assign research as necessary. If the audience has any questions or comments, please present them by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is important work that these individuals have volunteered to contribute their time. Please join me in thanking them.
Communication with Committee Members
Committee Member Letter
Good Afternoon Committee Members,
I would like to begin by thanking you for volunteering to be on the Soldotna Area Schools Reconfiguration Advisory Committee (from here on out we will just refer to this organization as the Advisory Committee.) We will be meeting tomorrow at the Soldotna Middle School Library at 5:30pm. Because this is an awful time to meet, right at dinner time, I will have pizza and water available at 5pm in the library. Our agenda for this first night is very foundational. I believe one must start slow in order to end fast. You do not need to bring anything to this meeting other that a notepad and pen for your own sake. I will be publishing the meeting minutes after each meeting so if you do not normally take notes, don’t worry I will present them for your review.
My role for this committee is “facilitator.” For this circumstance this means I will help identify the issues, encourage discussion and research and guide the group toward a consensus on each of our recommendations. Your role is to be thoughtful processors and to represent what you feel is in the best interest of our students and our community.
We are an advisory committee. We do not have any binding power or jurisdiction but we have been asked to give our Board and Administration advice on social and historical issues surrounding the reconfiguration of the Soldotna area schools. How the Board and Administration decide to act after viewing these recommendations through their lens, is solely their responsibility.
We will stick to a fairly tight agenda each meeting as the meetings are only 90 minutes long. Plenty of time if we stay focused. There may be issues that are assigned to committee members to research and report back on before we make decisions. So… there will be homework.
Our agenda for September 10, 2013:
5:00- Pizza and water available
5:30- Meeting called to order- introductions (please be prepared to speak for up to two minutes each about yourself and your primary driver for being on this committee)
5:50- Norms- I have sample norms pasted and the bottom of this document- we can adopt them fully, modify them, or come up with our own set.
6:15- Identify the topics (Social and Historical. The decision of whether or not to reconfigure has already been made as has the locations of the schools)
6:45- Prioritize topics for following meeting (set next agenda)
If time allows, we will begin discussion on the first of our prioritized topics.
It is very unlikely any decisions will be made toward any recommendations at this meeting, remember, we are going slow on purpose. The recommendations we make will have a long lasting effect on the community in which we live. We must be thoughtful and thorough.
Again, thank you for volunteering and please be sure to take a good look at the proposed operating norms. This will save us some time at the meeting.
Proposed operational norms- Borrowed from “Solution Tree.”
- Begin and end on time with a focused agenda.
- Allow equal voice to all participants (no side conversations).
- Agree to disagree with professionalism.
- Presume positive intention of all team members.
- Make decisions by consensus.
- Challenge ideas, not people.