Present: Beckie Alexander, Lianne Knych, Meg Hoyt, Jane Onsrud, Becky Dankowski, Scott Bordon, and Sarah Linnes-Robinson Director of KFNA, Chris Sur, KFNA President
The committee meeting was called to discuss a proposal coming from KFNA Staff to hold an informational table for school choice at the KFNA table at the Kingfield Holiday Farmers’ Market. Some committee members felt this promotional opportunity should be used for Lyndale School only. There was a feeling from many committee members that KFNA is not promoting Lyndale School strongly enough as the neighborhood’s guaranteed school.
Many committee members expressed their fears at neighbors not giving Lyndale School a fair look as an option by families. According to Hoyt, “My biggest fear is people not looking beyond the front of the door.”
KFNA Staff stated the problem she was hearing in the neighborhood was people feeling disenfranchised from the entire public school system. She stated that she feels that encouraging families to look at all their options and not feel forced into any one would serve the larger goal of getting them reinvested no matter which school they attend.
Alexander stated that she felt that as a community our responsibility is to the local school. If we were going to expand to promote all the educational options it should also include private.
Staff restated the mission of the committee which was developed at the last meeting which is to “advocate for youth and the schools they attend.”
There was debate that the support from the neighborhood association for Lyndale should be stronger than for other schools since historically the neighborhood had no neighborhood school, and now that it does it has a responsibility to support the neighborhood school. Some committee members and Staff disagreed with this and felt the neighborhood should support the schools that children attend, and this could be done alongside celebrating the new postion of Lyndale as a community school guarentee.
A discussion was held about information on the KFNA website. Many wanted this to be used a promotional spot for Lyndale School. Dankowski and Knych argued that information on all the school choices should be provided. Agreement was reached that Lyndale should be at the top with information about it as the community school choice for the neighborhood. It should also include a link to the school. Other information could include tour dates and a school button. Other public schools would also be listed, however. It was decided that high school should be included on the website too. Please note that at the time of writing these minutes high school, information has not been put on the website yet.
Discussion was also held about the upcoming Holiday Farmers’ Market—the school committee stated that they had requested to be present at this final market. This request was not reflected in the previous committee minutes, nor had staff recalled this request when she put forward the proposal for all schools to be present. The committee reaffirmed they would like to be the group that staffed the table at this final market. Although many felt that it should provide information exclusively on Lyndale since everyone in the neighborhood is aware of their school choices, the group agreed to making available information on all public school choices K-8 at the table also.
Linnes-Robinson said she had already pulled this information together for elementary school choices for Kingfield residents and it had been proofed by District staff. She will expand it to include middle schools for the market.
Committee members said that the Lyndale School Transition Team is working on marketing including info in newsletters, events, and open houses and tours and a school-led PR campaign for Lyndale; they asked how KFNA will support this marketing. Staff responded that as with all groups, the school can request inclusion in email notices as events come up, but the newsletter is ready to go to print and another will not come out until March. The current issue does contain a story on Lyndale School which announces and celebrates its new status as a community school guarantee for Kingfield. There was strong interest from some committee members that KFNA play a stronger role in this marketing and a discussion was held on the difference of marketing for the school vs. community building at the school and the difference of promoting Lyndale School as the neighborhood school vs. promoting Lyndale School as one of the options. No consensus was reached on the differences or the manner in which KFNA should be involved.
There was a brief discussion about how the neighborhood association could assist with identifying and informing non-choosers about school options. There was a discussion about marketing vs. disseminating information. No next steps were indentified or committed to besides providing information for people to attend the choice fair held by the district DT on January 9.
There was interest expressed by Bordon in investigating “safe routes to school” for the neighborhood.
A next meeting date was not decided on due to the impending holidays and staff’s over-committed schedule due to the project organizer hiring process.
Minutes provided by Linnes-Robinson, 12/1/09.