NEW BRITAIN - Hoping to creating a better line of communication between administrators and the community, the school district has been hosting open forums to give parents, guardians and the public a chance to connect with educators.
The district held its first forum in October with a few dozen parents, staff and students in attendance, and a session will bescheduled each month for the rest of the school year.
School Superintendent Nancy Sarra has said she hopes these forums provide a place to build relationships between administrators and the community and listen to families about their concerns.
At the first forum, parents talked about improving both internal and external communication within the district, the need for more parent involvement, the need for more staff involvement in the community, the STEAM program and more things happening in the district.
The series is a partnership with Parents and Voices Empowering New Britain, Great Schools and Everyday Democracy. Similar forums are happening in other school districts across New England.
Trudi Lebron of Everyday Democracy and Kate Gardoqui of Great Schools Partnership have been hosting the open discussions in New Britain.
“The goal is to help school districts connect with their communities, because that’s a perennial challenge for districts all over,” Gardoqui said at the first forum.
Improving communication has been an ongoing effort within the district recently. During a Board of Education meeting in May, parents, teachers and students voiced their disappointment with the district’s lack of communication regarding the new scheduling system and several teacher transfers.
“Last year we made some major changes in the school district and, rightly so, parents were upset and like “we didn’t even know this was coming,’” Sarra said at the first forum. “It helped me reshape the direction of our work together with this group.”
During December’s forum, the group discussed safety and discipline throughout the district.
The next forum in this series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at Lincoln Elementary School, 145 Steele St.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.