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Schools plan home meetings with parents

Matt Terrell
Vail CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” Large assemblies in school cafeterias can be intimidating places to ask questions, says Karen Nulle, Gypsum Elementary parent.

“It’s often one person standing up ” we listen and they talk,” Nulle said.

And typically, you don’t see parents packing the seats at Board of Education meetings either.



That’s why the school district will soon start a series of home meetings with parents to talk about the big issues in Eagle County School District.

The idea is to tap groups of already involved parents who can host small group meetings in their homes, communications director Brooke Skjonsby said. And the topics would be up to the parents.



Depending on the issues they want to discuss, the school will call on the superintendent, director of technology, principals and even teachers to lead the home discussions and answer questions.

“This would be more communication back and fourth,” Nulle said. “It would be important to go over CSAP scores ” what causes results to be whatever they are. We’d go over TAP (the Teacher Advancement Program), what does it mean, why teachers like it, why they don’t.”

The district hopes that in these home meetings, parents will feel more comfortable than they would in big school board meetings or workshops. With a more relaxed mood, they’re hoping parents will express how they really feel about the issues.



“Anything in small groups, people show up more, and it takes away the intimidation of a huge group,” Nulle said. “Everyone has busy lives, so how do you get people with busy lives to stop and say school is important? The more involved parents are, the better education they’ll (the students) will get.”

Since many of the schools have large numbers of Hispanic families who don’t speak English, translators will be provided when needed, said Kristin Kenney Williams with Commfluent LLC, the communications firm developing the district’s outreach strategy.

School officials will also schedule more regular meetings with community groups such as rotary clubs and homeowner’s associations.

Skjonsby said this will be a good way for the community to meet some of the new leadership in the school district.

“It’s obvious there are some hot topics and issues out there,” Skjonsby said. “We want to communicate with parents and build support for the district and our programs.”

Staff writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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