Hello School Families,
We hope you have been enjoying a restful Spring Break.
Since the release and presentation of Rob Saxton’s report on March 7th, there have been questions about the District and School Board’s response to the Rob Saxton report and recommendations. The School Board, District administration and staff have been processing the information, calculations and recommendations. While processing, questions and clarifications have come up which we wish to work through with Mr. Saxton before releasing public statements and positions on the report.
To address these questions and clarifications, we have scheduled a Special Board Meeting work session with Rob Saxton on April 2nd at 7:00 in the grade school cafeteria. This work session is open to the public.
The School Board, Administration and staff have prepared a list of questions to work through with Mr. Saxton. If you have questions you would like clarified from the report, you may submit questions to the Board up until this Friday. We will do our best to secure answers to questions. There will also be opportunity for public comment during the meeting. We recognize this is short notice for the meeting and hope you will be able to join us. Meeting minutes will be posted to Board Books (https://v3.boardbook.org/
In parallel to working on clarifications, I will encourage the School Board to begin the work towards creating a common vision and agreement on District values. As stated in Mr. Saxton’s report, “This will be the foundational development of the covenant between the school and community. A target date for achieving the vision and values should be out into the future.” Furthermore, as the school and community move forward into strategic planning for the years to come, this collaborative visioning process will lay the groundwork for future planning and district decisions.
Mr. Saxton recommended an oversight committee be formed “to guide the process and serve to put together a Vision and Values document.” I understand and agree with Mr. Saxton’s emphasis on, “The entire Corbett school community will need to feel they have had adequate representation on the committee.” Such representation was suggested to include : “School Board members (3, non-quorum), the Superintendent (1), community parents, out-of-district parents, students, and District staff. Ensuring an even distribution of current opinion “supporters”, “critics” and “balanced” participants would be an important key to success.” The formation, representation and work of this oversight committee will contribute to the facilitated process of “Creating a Covenant with the Community” that Mr. Saxton emphasized in the very beginning of his recommendation section. (page 40 – 42 of the Saxton Report)
In the coming week, we will send out more details and a timeline as to how this committee will be formed, the “charge” from the Board, who will be facilitating and how to get involved. There will be an online application available for folks to fill out who are interested in participating. The members of the board and administration will go through a selection process to ensure there is an even distribution and representation of the full school community. The Board and District’s goal is to formulate this committee before the end of April and a specific date will be communicated in future emails with more information about the application and timeline. Thus, it will be important for people to know about this application process and get involved.
The District and School Board continue to discuss and investigate public charter school conversion for Corbett. We, like Rob Saxton, see converting to a public charter school as a necessary step for our District in the future, and we recognize the community process must occur and will help guide our future planning. Community visioning to reach agreed Vision and Values for our district will help guide our future planning and decision making. As we move forward with and prioritize the collaborative visioning process, the Vision and Values committee will play an integral role in helping the Board determine both if and when it is the correct time to convert to a public charter school. In Mr. Saxton’s report, he recommended a Vision and Values document be completed for the Board to adopt. Furthermore, he suggested that this document be adopted once it has received a support rate of 80% from the broad school community. We see 80% as a high goal to set, and we are willing to work towards that goal with the community. Mr. Saxton recognized that the vision and values process could take up to 6 years and put a target date of 2025 for completion.
There was some confusion after the regular March School Board meeting about whether or not the District has already converted to a public charter school. The District has not. The School Board is currently working on a charge and proposed timeline for the visioning process. Application to convert to a public charter school could occur concurrently with the Visioning and Values process as a matter of practical timelines. However, ultimate consideration of charter contract will be informed by the work of the Vision and Values committee as well as the responses to questions the board has submitted to Mr. Saxton.
In the coming weeks, the tangible next steps and upcoming communications will be:
1. Special School Board meeting – Work Session with Rob Saxton: April 2nd7:00PM, in the grade school cafeteria. All Board meetings are open to the public. Please join us if you can.
2. The School Board is formulating a charge and timeline for the Visions & Values process. Further communication will be sent out in the first weeks of April, including a link for an online application to participate in the Vision and Values oversight committee.
3. April 17th – Regular Board Meeting 7:00 PM in the MPB: Further discussion and planning for the Vision & Values committee
If you have not yet had a chance to read the Saxton report, you can view the report and supplemental materials here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/
Thank you in advance for your participation in the upcoming collaborative processes.
Corbett School District