Class Notes: Many attendees seem appreciative of superintendent town hall meetings

“A town hall meeting is a great concept. Keep it up!” That’s what an attendee at one of the two superintendent’s town hall meetings held last week told us.

“I’m so happy I came to the meeting because I learned how I can help my kids,” said another.

“I like the commitment to being open with parents and communicating with us,” said yet another.

And finally, this comment received after we hosted 300-plus parents, community members and staff at Lely High School: “The turnout at the meeting was not an accident. Members of the community are beginning to feel they matter, and their thoughts really matter.”

The Collier County School District’s new superintendent, Kamela Patton, has conducted three town hall meetings thus far and there are three more scheduled. We’ve received some pretty good feedback, as you can tell. People referred to the “superintendent’s great enthusiasm,” and expressed gratitude “for emphasizing the importance of early literacy.”

Someone else appreciated learning about the Governance Model and being told what concerns they should bring to the school district office versus those they should take to the School Board.

When asked to share suggestions for future meetings, one person said to “keep having town hall meetings every year,” and another asked to “have more of them.” As I said, we do have three more planned between now and the end of the month.

There will be a town hall meeting held in the Gulf Coast High School auditorium on Monday, Nov. 14, another in the Immokalee High School auditorium on Thursday, Nov.17, and the final meeting in the series of six will be held on Marco Island in the Tommie Barfield Elementary School multi-purpose room on Monday, Nov. 28. Each begins at 6 p.m. and we’ll have you out the door at 7.

As for the topics being dealt with, one attendee liked knowing where Collier education is today and why it’s there. Another appreciated the information shared about online tools that are made available to K-12 parents, and someone else enjoyed learning about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. A few thought the question-and-answer period was one of the best parts of the evening. Please join us at one of the remaining meetings and be sure to turn in your feedback form as you leave so we know what you think.

We have long recognized student achievement and accomplishments at regular School Board meetings, but beginning Tuesday, live student entertainment will be featured at each meeting. This Tuesday, some 19 students from teacher Todd Peterson’s Barron Collier High School Chorus will be on hand to sing the national anthem.

Also, Tommie Barfield Elementary School teacher Elizabeth Braren will bring 24 students from Marco Island to sing “America for Me” with “America the Beautiful” lyrics.

Plus, student artwork from teacher Leigh Greco’s art class at Gulf Coast High School will be on display. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Administrative Center (behind Barron Collier High School). If you can’t join us in person, you may watch live on the Education Channel, Comcast cable 99, and on the web at www.collierschools.com.

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