Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The school supplies are out in the stores, and the ads are on TV. It's been barely a month since we lit up sparklers and extolled our patriotism, hardly enough time to get used to the idea of school supplies. For many, August can bring a sense of alarm as summer threatens to give way to fall and the return of early mornings and essays, but it can also be an exciting time full of possibilities for the school year to come. For school board members, it is a time to take stock and plan for the upcoming year. This is old hat for those school board members who have been through the process before - Chair Marguerite Laabs, Doug Stenger and Tim Peglow. For new board members - Kurt Helgeson, Tim Zipoy and Robin Dockery - it is another first in a half year full of compelling new experiences thus far. Early on, the board recognized that they would need to come together as a group and share their respective experiences, while bringing forward new ideas in order to be an effective team. As has been done in the past, the board embarked on a visioning process that included two meetings where the board was able to reflect on past district goals, examine current goals, and brainstorm for the future. Along the way, board members were able to get to know one another better and articulate their own personal motivations and objectives, allowing them to become a more cohesive group. Not surprisingly, one of the main goals for the district and the board is to improve communications and to develop new ways of communicating with the public. An idea that has been used in the past, is one of a weekly school column in the official school newspaper, the Tri-County News. The column will be written by a member of the school community and will cover a wide range of topics. Bringing back the weekly column is an idea that has long been championed by the Tri-County News because they have witnessed first-hand how it can open the doors between the school and community. Future columns might include answers to questions such as: Who are these people on the school board, what are their committee assignments, who are the school administrators, how does state-wide testing work, when is open house, where does district money come from, how is district money spent, how does tenure work, what post-secondary offerings are there, what exactly went on during the visioning process, and what are the district's goals? We have identified many topics for exploration and explanation, and we welcome questions from readers about the schools and the district. For those who may feel disenfranchised from the school, this will be a wonderful opportunity to bridge barriers of understanding. We all own the Kimball schools. We, the school board, pledge to do all we can to help everyone in the community again feel that our schools are an integral part of our community, and a great source of learning, fellowship, and pride.