New School Board to Meet
Good Communications is key to More Involvement
By: Pat Hunter
September 08, 2008
The School Board will meet at 6:30 P.M. Monday Sept. 11th at the County Office Building on River Rd. For months, the school board's business meeting agenda and workshop agenda were one in the same except for this time. New 5th District School Board member Van Shaver's agenda items appear on the workshop agenda but not on the regular business School Board meeting; why is that? All the items on the workshop agenda deserve public discussion at Thursday's School Board meeting given that Monday is also a commission meeting and many will be attending that meeting.
Additionally, the School Board's conference room wasn't designed to handle a large crowd just in case one shows up for the new school board meeting on Monday. More thought and consideration needs to be placed into holding future workshop meetings at a suitable location to accommodate the public such as the Annex basement meeting room. The conference room does not meet ADA compliance regs for people that are hearing impaired. These issues are not new and hopefully Mr. Honeycutt and the new school board will address these concerns.
Most School Board's give citizens at least a 5-day public notice when meetings are to be held. Many parents and concerned citizens are still not familiar with school board workshop meetings, times and dates and the School Board website or calendar does not include this information. This meeting notice was not posted in the newspaper until one day before the workshop meeting. If more involvement is needed, timely notices are needed so parents and/or grandparents may participate.
The Loudon County Board of Education website is a valuable resource, which is greatly underutilized when it comes to furnishing the public information about new School Board members. One month after the school board election and new school board contact information is still not current.
Three months after former school director Edward Headlee retired, Headlee's name and his former Tellico Village residence still appear. The District Office Staff page is up to-date and even has the name of Wayne Honeycutt. However, the School Board webpage still has the names of four former school board members while the heading of "staff" has been updated with Mr. Honeycutt's name.
In the meantime, taxpayers pay premium price for the BOE website and IT staff and benefits. The IT director's job duties were expanded to include Public Relations. This is School Director Honeycutt's third month on the job and the buck stops with him to address these management issues. Good PR will follow, if there are positive changes to report.
School Board Packet in pdf (51 pages)