School board members share priorities & goals at weekend retreat
The Fayette County Board of Education met for more than three hours Feb. 21 for its first retreat since new members and new leadership took office in early January. “We began with an opportunity to introduce ourselves and share our ‘why,’” said Chair Tyler Murphy. “Each board member discussed a passion for education and for serving all students at high levels. Though each of us brings a different perspective – three are educators by trade, three currently have students attending Fayette County Public Schools – we collectively have decades of experience advocating for students.”
Other topics of the virtual retreat included:
- A training with the Kentucky School Boards Association about how to use an online portal for the school board meeting agenda and materials to make board business more transparent and accessible.
- A continuation of implicit bias training with Carthage College Professor Michelle Hancock. Each board member previously completed an assessment to determine where they are in their intercultural development, and Hancock explained where the team is along the continuum as a group. She encouraged board members to bring a diversity of voices to the table and examine policies and practices to ensure all students have opportunity and access. Board members will meet with Hancock separately to review their own assessments.
- A discussion of areas of focus each board member would like to address, such as early childhood literacy and numeracy, public engagement and input, mental health and well-being, college and career readiness, a review of middle school districts, continuity of service for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and support for students academically, socially, and emotionally. Board members also discussed legal representation, protocols for visiting schools, and communication procedures.
- The possible establishment of additional board committees that would bring students, employees, families, and community members together to address multiple topics and help streamline the board’s work. These committees would meet separately from the full board and make regular reports at school board meetings.
“Although no action was planned for our retreat, I do feel like we accomplished a great deal,” Murphy said. “Establishing shared priorities, growing as a team, and pushing ourselves to develop our cultural competencies are critical if we are to serve our community at high levels. We are grateful for this opportunity and committed to giving our personal and collective best for the good of the students, employees, and families we were elected to represent.”
(Posted Feb. 22, 2021)