Every other week, RSU #4’s Superintendent Andrew Carlton and Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction, Kathy Martin, have been hosting an online community forum. In order to create two-way communication with families, students and other community members, the two district administrators have been hosting a zoom meeting to allow constituents the chance to get information, ask questions, give comments and provide feedback on various topics that have affected our students during this COVID-19 pandemic.
RSU #4 started these zoom meetings during their first phase of the continuity of education plan as part of their communication efforts. It was an opportunity to discuss food distribution, device pick-up procedures, and explain the educational plans for that phase of skills maintenance efforts. During this meeting, parents could better understand responsibilities for parents, students and teachers during each phase of the plan. The meeting also allowed parents to give suggestions on how to support the learner with creating a daily schedule, for example.
By the second meeting, the district was in the Phase II portion of the continuity education plan. Topics included questions about new learning in a remote setting, expectations for a typical school day, how to pick up personal belongings in our school buildings, and discuss what April vacation will look like. In addition to discussing topics related to the remote learning plan, it was also a chance to discuss some business as usual events. For example, there was a discussion about the budget, the budget process and how the district will proceed over the next few months.
All the zoom meetings have been recorded and shared through the district’s website and social media sites so community members could view the recording if they could not attend the actual meeting. In addition, parents and students could send questions, comments or feedback ahead of time to ensure their questions or concerns would be addressed during the zoom.
The community forums are going to continue as one measure to open communication between the school system and community. The zoom meetings can also leverage opportunities to better support and continue the vision of “inspiring our learners for future success” even in these unprecedented times.
This article was submitted by RSU 4 Superintendent Andy Carlton as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or idea, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.