By Mark Rountree
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
During one of the longest board meetings in recent memory Tuesday night, the Stillwater Board of Education discussed creating three additional public advisory committees to provide the district with community input on school issues.
Board members agreed the creation of the new committees – curriculum and technology, facilities and finance – is a way to foster more two-way communication between the community and the school board.
People wanting to serve on any of the committees should contact their principal. Principals will then send their names to the superintendent to bring to the school board for approval at the June board meeting. The committees will begin meeting in the fall.
Board member Debbie Vincent said the new committees hopefully will not just include parents but interested community members as well.
“We want well-rounded representation on the committees,” board member Camille DeYong said.
Creating three additional advisory committees is part of the district’s plan to get more community input.
Community members who have questions for the board can submit questions at least 10 days prior to the next board meeting.
The board answered several questions submitted by the public during Tuesday’s meeting, including a question about how the public can gain access to detailed board information packets prior to meetings. Board president John Price said he saw no reason why those packets could not be posted online in a timely manner before meetings.
“Certainly the board is attempting to provide better and more detailed information,” said board member Kevin Clark. “It’s an attempt to frankly dispel some myths and some bad information that’s floating around out there.”
The board heard from four people during the public comments portion of the meeting. Jana Phillips talked about consolidating administrative costs and duties. Shelley Mitchell expressed a lack of confidence in the usefulness of the district’s online survey about district goals. Anna Green-Hicks questioned whether more advisory committees will be effective in solving school issues. And Mitsi Andrews talked about more communication with the school district and community.
“There has been a long history of information that has been very difficult for private citizens to get,” said Andrews, who talked about her philosophy of TACT, or transparency, accountability, communication and teamwork with the district and community. “I hope that’s a direction this district can take. It’s definitely improving.”