Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting April 27th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 1:18 in the video
- Committee Reports begins at 11:44
- Vice President Appointment begins at 17:08
- Acting Superintendent Contract Discussion/Approval begins at 18:23
- Board and Superintendent Comments begin at 20:00

Sorry I am almost two weeks late in sharing this video here but sometimes life gets hectic.   I always post the videos of the meetings first on YouTube, usually hours after the meetings, and then when I have time I share them here on the blog. 
The meeting started with the board going into a closed session and after they returned the citizen participation segment began.  Students Mark Mohn-Young and Jason Pogue spoke on behalf of a teacher at Bridgeport High School who will not be having her contract renewed.  I believe her name is Ms. Roeske but it is hard to hear with the poor audio in this meeting.  Last year there was a school board meeting where students got up and spoke on behalf of a teacher that was going to be let go and the board or administration changed their decision and kept the teacher on.  I remember reading about that incident and it was what got me interested in attending the board meetings.  I believe this is the same teacher that was also discussed in the personnel meeting on April 17th.  I wondered after that meeting why the teacher was kept on despite having poor evaluations and if Ms. Roeske is the same teacher then I understand why.  I have no idea what criteria is used in evaluations of the instructors but I do have to wonder how she could go from 10 years of good evaluations at another school and then receive poor evaluations at Bridgeport.  It seems like there is more to this story but I don't know what it is.
Ms. Manning, a employee of the school district also spoke.  She had issues with her employment and it sounds like her contract will not be renewed.  I have no understanding of her issues so I can't comment on that, but I hope that she has a better avenue to bring those issues to the school board and administration than during the brief 3 minute period allotted during the meetings.
I would like to congratulate Mr. Nelson on his appointment as the new Vice President of the school board.  I think very highly of Mr. Nelson and think he is a good choice for the position.
I was glad to see that Mrs. Selby's stipend contract was approved by the board members.
Mr. Bruns is the new President of the school board and I liked everything that I heard from him in the board member comments period.  I do have just one observation/suggestion and it involves that 3 minute rule.  Mr. Bruns seems to listen to and be concerned about the issues that are brought by the public to the school board.  That is great, and that is what the public, staff, students need to know is that the board is listening; but when you shut the speakers down at the 3 minute mark it appears that you are not willing to listen.  I can understand if you get 20 speakers come and raise a ruckus that boards may feel it is necessary to enforce the time limit to keep some peace and order and move the meeting along for the benefit of everyone that is attending and would also like to speak.  When you only have a few speakers and the issues that they are bringing before you are serious, would it really hurt to allow them a few extra minutes?  It would go a long way to help build that relationship of cooperation and trust back up that seems to have been lacking for sometime between the Bridgeport community and the school board.
The next school board meeting will be held on May 11th at the Bridgeport High School.

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