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Board of Education Meeting Recap - June 22

The Board of Education held its Regular Monthly meeting on Monday, June 22 virtually and livestreamed to the district YouTube Channel. Presentations include an overview of feedback from building parent focus groups regarding online remote learning and the end of the school year. 

The meeting is available below. Here is a link to the agenda.

Meeting Timings

  • Overview of District Culture and Climate from Superintendent Sawyers (3:53)
  • Plain Local Education Association Update (11:30)
  • Parent Focus Group Feedback - Dr. Shirley Hamilton & Mr. Scott Emery (12:43)
  • Principal Feedback on Parent Focus Groups - Mrs. Teresa Smith, Mrs. Katie Nowak and Mrs. Donna LeBeau (30:33)
  • Reset/Restart discussion for back to school Superintendent Sawyers (47:39)
  • Financial overview - Treasurer/CFO Becky Jenkins (1:31:22)  

Overview of Parent Focus Group discussions and feedback 

The district recently completed a series of parent focus groups in an effort to better understand the educational needs of our students during remote online instruction as a follow up to our parent survey in the spring.  The district administration worked with each of our building Parent Teacher Organizations to convene virtual focus groups of a diverse parent audience to hear directly from families what worked and any concerns on the remote learning experiences for their student(s) from March to the end of the school year. The focus group feedback learned was summarized by Dr. Shirley Hamilton, Director of Secondary Education and Mr. Scott Emery, Director of Elementary Education during the June 22 regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting hosted virtually.

Focus Groups were limited in number to allow for all voices to be heard.  Parents in each building group were invited to provide feedback on the same three essential questions.

  • When reflecting on the remote learning experience since mid-March, what worked well for your child as a learner?  What types of tasks or assignments did your child like the best?  Be as specific as you can.
  • What can we do better from your perspective?  What about from your child’s perspective? Please be as specific as you can. 
  • What one other thing have you not already shared that you would like us to consider/know? 

Please see this link to view the full presentation slides as well as the Board Meeting video and discussion.

Some highlights include:

What went well?
Participants appreciated the consistency of receiving the week’s assignments on Monday, live Instruction, Google Meets (when required) and flexibility.

What can be improved?
Participants noted the need for more live instruction, additional video recordings and consistency across teachers and the district, in expectations, structure, and in communications to students/parents. Additionally, the need to increase the amount of time for students to interact with teachers and classmates was highlighted. Parents and families also noted that technology was more of a concern for elementary parents but not as much of a concern for MS/HS parents.

Families also expressed the increased need for mental health and well-being supports for students.

The school district is grateful to our PTOs for helping to convene parent focus groups from each building to allow us to hear firsthand how the school year ended during remote learning.  The feedback received will be incorporated into planning for the 2020-21 school year, should remote learning be required at any time.