Community Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Cleveland County Schools

Community Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Cleveland County Schools

Date: Monday June 23, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Landmark Baptist Church – Family Life Center
1724 E. Dixon Blvd, Shelby, NC 28151
Landmark is located between Verizon Wireless in Shelby and the old
Walmart. The FLC is behind the church near the softball field.
Moderator: Robert Queen
Minute Taker: Yvette Grant

Organization: This Community Town Hall Meeting was organized by concerned citizens of Cleveland County. It is not sponsored by the CCS Board of Education, any political party group, any business group, or any religious organization.

Purpose: The Town Hall Meeting is being held to provide a forum for teachers (current and retired), students, parents, administrators, and the general public to express their praises and concerns regarding the Cleveland County Schools System. Minutes will be taken and a final report written consolidating the comments made. The final report will be available to the public and will be presented to the Board of Education and the Superintendent for action. The overall goal is to improve the educational environment for students and working conditions for teachers.

Guidelines:
1. Those interested in speaking will be asked to sign in. Speakers will be called in the order they signed in.
2. Speakers are asked to keep their comments to 3 minutes or less. After all speakers have had an opportunity to participate, those needing more time will be recalled to complete their comments. If the meeting exceeds three hours, another meeting will be scheduled to allow everyone full opportunity to speak. The audience will be polled as to the best time to schedule a second meeting. (For information, one full type written page or 1 ½ handwritten pages takes about 3 minutes to read.)
3. Speakers will be asked to use the microphone provided so attendees can adequately hear. Individuals may ask someone else to speak for them if they are not comfortable speaking in front of a group. The moderator is willing to read prepared statements for those uncomfortable speaking.
4. Speakers are asked to comment on anything important to them regarding CCS. Comments might include:
a. Praise reports of what CCS is doing right. Comments might tell of an excellent teacher, student, administrator, academic club, or athletic team.
b. Reports of what CCS could do better. Comments might include athletic participation requirements, school schedules, safety procedures, promotions and hiring practices, maintenance of schools, facilities needs, spending, etc. Speakers are asked to provide suggestions of how to improve the particular areas they discuss.
c. Reports of what is not working and needs to be outright changed. Speakers are asked to provide recommendations on how to correct the various issues they discuss.
d. Discussion of State level requirements for testing, teacher evaluations, etc.
5. Individuals may submit anonymous comments in a sealed envelope to be passed along to the school board. Anonymous comments will not be part of the final public report.
6. Speaker and audience etiquette:
a. Speakers are asked not to mention any students by name unless it’s affirmation of a job well done.
b. Speakers are asked to refer to CCS employees, teachers, staff, and administration by their position and refrain from using names unless necessary.
c. Speakers and attendees are asked to be polite and professional in their language and responses to comments. We are meeting in a place of worship and need to respect that. We need to show each other and the school board that we are willing to work together for the best outcome for our students and teachers. We don’t have to agree with each other but we do need to be respectful of each other.
7. The moderator may engage the speaker by asking brief questions to clarify points for the minute taker. The moderator will adjust the speaker’s time accordingly. Should there be any points of controversy or disagreement amongst attendees, the moderator will ask for a “show of hands” vote of the attendees to resolve the issue. Everyone will be expected to abide by the majority vote in how to further conduct the meeting.
8. Depending on the subject matter being discussed, the moderator may ask the audience their position on a matter by an informal straw vote.

Final Thoughts: It’s not clear how many school board members will attend the town hall meeting or if the current or new superintendent will attend. Board members and the superintendent(s) will be given a chance to comment at the end of the program if they like. They will be asked to hold their comments to 3 minutes or less. The audience should remember that the Board will not be able to take any action during the town hall meeting. NC statutes require board action to take place in announced open session board meetings. However, the public is encouraged to attend future board meetings to insure the board discusses and acts appropriately on the issues discussed.

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