WESTFIELD, NJ - The 2014-2015 school year board goals were discussed at the Westfield Board of Education workshop held May 13.
“What are we doing?” said board member Gretchen Olhig. “We are sitting around talking about being good board members but what are we doing?”
The workshop started with two statements written on the chalkboard in the confrence room to which the goals of the current school year and progress were discussed in relation to them: 1. Implement mechanism(s) to enable more fulsome group discussion and brainstorming, increase and equalize board members’ shared knowledge and 2. Embed assessment into significant board actions.
After a brief discussion of the execution of the goals for this current year, the board began discussing possible goals for the upcoming school year with their self-evaluation reports as a reference for concerns.
The new board goals discussion started with the subject of student achievement. This led to the discussion of having a better form of direct communication between the board and parents. Whether Twitter or Facebook was the better social media medium to utilized was discussed but not agreed upon. The suggestion of an annual community survey was added to the list of possible board goals.
Other goals included the development of a strategy to gain more input from faculty before a policy is passed as well as possible governance training.
“I don’t think being a board member is an intuitive thing,” said Superintendent Margaret Dolan, in agreement with the need for governance training.
It was also suggested that every committee establish a long-range goal.
"This is all about the board being a better board," said board member Ginny Leiz.