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September 20th Board of Education Report

Super exciting news on the ACS Board of Education front. President Brian Perkins has adopted a new public comment statement to be read before each public commentary portion of the board of education meeting.

Key Takeaways:

  • The board allows 60 minutes total for public comment with each individual allowed 5 minutes.

  • State law does not require the board to hold a public comment period, they choose to out of the goodness of their hearts (my words) or because they "believe it's crucial for us to hear from our community" (their words)

  • The public comment period is not a discussion. The board is there to listen, but don't expect a response to your concerns or question in that moment. They might need to do some research and may respond at a later time.

  • State and Federal Privacy laws mean that they will not allow any comments or questions about school personnel. They suggest addressing personnel complaints or concerns to the appropriate administrator.

  • Speakers should address their comments to the board directly and not to other audience members.

  • Keep it civil and show mutual respect for one another. It's just the nice thing to do, but also you're gonna have to see each other around town and it will get awkward. A board of education meeting isn't really the time or place to throw shade or start beefs or whatever the kids are saying these days.

  • If the board meeting gets unruly the board may call a recess and return once y'all chill.

  • You can always submit your comments and complaints in writing to the board instead of speaking if you don't feel comfortable speaking. Side can also email any administrator you want any time you want about whatever subject you want. Don't let their inboxes get lonely.

In addition to the fun and exciting new Public Commentary guidelines there was some actual public commentary for a change. Andover Lion's Club Secretary Jeanne Todd wanted to know where the school was at with allowing events to be held at the school like the Grandparents Luncheon, Basketball Tournament, and Maple Festival. President Perkins said he'd look into it and have the superintendent get back to her. Jeanne also grumbled about the elementary homecoming dance being held during the pep rally instead of after school hours so that children could opt-out of attendance. The board thanked her for her feedback which we're assuming will be filed under T for Things-only-Jeanne-cares-about.

The board dialogue included board member Kevin Walker wanting to know if the proposed on site covid testing for teachers would be expanded to students. Kathryn Slavinski stated that it might be able to be ramped up to accommodate that, but not at this time as parent permission would be needed and they were waiting for more information from the state and the testing supplier on the subject. Staff testing will begin today (9/21/2021). Kevin also had some questions about homecoming and if there was a plan in case of rain. The plan at present is to move the homecoming dance indoors if the weather stinks and the numbers allow. Also some questions were asked about the involvement of Whitesville students in homecoming events. Whitesville students will be participating in the games and bon fire, but as far as was known at this time not the dance (unless invited) or the pep rally.

The board actions portion of the meeting included 22 items and all passed without any opposition or discussion. Meeting minutes can be found on the website once they're compiled. The agenda's can be found here. Acting Principal Slavinski was appointed to a bunch of things until September 27th and incoming Principal Turner was appointed to a bunch of things starting September 27th. Rashell Boyd was also appointed cheer coach.

This meeting was an overall 9/10. President Perkins did manage to stretch the meeting to 26 minutes this time. It was handy that there was some public commentary for President Perkins to test out his new public commentary script on. However, only one member of the public was there which was kind of a bummer after the higher attendance from last month (8). The Superintendent's Report, which I included none of in this article, was very informative. The Board Dialogue was helpful and interesting and did address several concerns submitted by students which was nice. Overall an excellent meeting.

picture of board of education meeting
Super fun meeting picture

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