KPBSD meetings to increase transparency have been poorly attended

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, December 11, 2014 10:25pm
  • News

Early in 2014 school principals nominated community members to serve as intermediaries between the district and local schools dubbing them Key Communicators.

Leaders from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District visited three schools in Homer, Soldotna and Seward in November for the first meetings aimed at clearing up misconceptions and bridging gaps in communication, said KPBSD Interim Superintendant Sean Dusek.

Turnout for the first round of meeting was weak, he said. The next meeting is tentatively set for February.

In the meantime, the district needs to work on increasing attendance, he said.

The idea behind the “charter project” is to keep a core population of community members informed on district strategies, policies and events, according to the school district website. Similar programs have been established in school districts around the nation, including Washington, Texas, Oregon and North Carolina.

The district first discussed the intent to implement the communications strategy in 2013, as a way to expand outreach between administration and school communities, according to the school district website. Nearly 50 people attended the preliminary meetings according to the district’s Feb. 3 legislative report.

Invitations were sent out by email in January 2014 for those who volunteered or were nominated to participate in the program. Communicators are asked to stay on top of informational material such as press releases, meeting notes and once they have digested the information, to ask administrators to clarify any confusion.

By February, seven communicators had volunteered, according to the school district website. Between 2-3 communicators were eventually chosen by each school’s principal, totaling nearly 100 participants from around the Kenai Peninsula.

Names of communicators will not be published online, according to the district website.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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