Preview: January 28th School Board Meeting

The big item on Monday’s agenda is the formal presentation to the Board of the Transformational Technology proposal—that is, the proposal to put iPads into the hands of all Northfield students in grades 6 and above. The proposal will include information about the cost of the program, as well as details about implementation and assessment.

Other items on the agenda include a proposal to share the services of a Director of Special Education with the Faribault Public Schools, and information on measures to improve security at school buildings in the district.

If you are interested in looking at a full Board packet, which includes all of the information Board members receive before the meeting, you can request one from Donita Delzer at the district office ( . The packets are usually available on the Friday before a Board meeting.

Meanwhile, the district is still developing a process to engage the community in an ongoing conversation about the school calendar. This past Sunday, the Star Tribune ran a story about the controversial attempts to adopt a modified calendar in Northfield, Le Sueur, and Edina (which is proposing an August 26th start date in 2013-2014). At my Minnesota School Boards Association new member training in Minneapolis last week, I also learned that the Albert Lea school district is considering a modified calendar in coming years (after completing a project to equip all schools in the district with air conditioning).

I’m hoping for an interesting, open, and spirited discussion on the calendar issue. To get ready for it, I’m reading Kenneth Gold’s School’s In: The History of Summer Education in American Public Schools (New York: Peter Lang, 2002), which traces the history of summer vacation and summer school in the United States from the early nineteenth century. Look for a book review here sometime in February.

One thought on “Preview: January 28th School Board Meeting

  1. I really appreciate your posting about how peons (ie, members of the general public who are not in the “cool kids club” that is the school board) can obtain the annotated agenda and all the packet materials.

    That should have been made public decades ago. I truly hope it signals a change in tone at the School Board. If members are senous about wanting public dialogue, then they have to show more openness and good faith in communications. Starting with this, but I hope it will extend further–to real discussions that go beyond pleasantries, to being ok with expressing differences of opinion, and to respecting voces of those who dissent from a particular recommendation.

    We should be all in this together, but it doesn’t mean that there can’t be healthy debate and discussion.

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