I am live blogging the school board meeting of Freedom Academy in Provo.
One interesting item that came up is that the board meetings have public comment at the beginning and there are not opportunities during the discussion to talk through or allow additional parent comment. Trent brought up that it is difficult for parents to know exactly what they should or should not attend or be prepared to give public comment on because the item that may or may not be discussed is published in an agenda that comes out too close to the board meeting and is too vague to give real opportunity for people to develop and adequately comment on the item that may be a concern.
It was discussed that Public Comment at the beginning of the meeting is inadequate because it does not allow people to comment correctly on a) the exact items to be discussed later in the meeting by the board and to b) give comment on exactly the item(s) being discussed by the board.
Kyle noted that the public notice needs to be broad so the board has enough room to make decisions. He and Ken noted that the purpose of the board is to make decisions on behalf of the members of the school and Kyle specifically noted that he believes the job of the board is to not only make those decisions but also that the accountability they have to the public is determined in the annual election (as opposed to opening each item for comment during the meeting).
Nancy asked if certain items could be published after the meeting and allowed for public comment on the freedom academy website. Jennifer seemed to agree with this. Ken and Kyle felt this was not important. Kyle felt that he would rather receive an email from anyone after the meeting if they would like to log their comment or concern. My personal feeling is that this eliminates two things: Transparency of the Board’s feelings/comment and Accountability of the Board to actually and adequately respond to valid public comment.
The other items on the agenda are moving along quickly tonight.
Budget modifications were already discussed, and an additional check signer was approved. Also, comments about asking the Uniform Committee to publicize their meetings better and invite parents with diverging thoughts on the uniform policy to come to the committee.
Wow, the wheels just ground to a stop on this, because of heated discussion about the school year calendar for next year.
Comment of the night: “This option spreads the unhappiness around.” Ken
Decision after much discussion was to leave the calendar as it stand.
Policy on electronic devices updated.
Comment: We don’t need to define illegal activity. “There is no limit to the mind of man to create new illegal activities.” Ken.
Comment on Bullying Policy. The current draft is long and difficult to read. Even called opaque. Ken said, “Until we have Latin, we can’t expect students to read this.”
If I heard this right, Lynne just said that next year elementary kids would have music, art, library, computer and p.e. as specialties, essentially one specialty per-day like it was two years ago.
9:12pm oh, depending on budget.