The Princeton School Board members started a discussion over what goals the board could set for itself.
Most of their discussion during the Oct. 5 meeting focused on communication-related goals. Superintendent Ben Barton broke down the discussion over communication into three possible goals. The first was to provide more opportunities to inform the public on the role of the board and on information relating to the budget. The second was providing more opportunities for the public to provide feedback, and a third was to encourage the board to continue to work collaboratively within an expected set of norms.
The board seemed uncertain as to how they could increase the opportunities for public feedback. Barton pointed out that the board already has two meetings a month that the public can come speak at. Board members added that they also have their emails and phone numbers available for feedback from the public.
Board member Erik Strandberg pointed out that past board evaluations indicated that the board members could improve their communication. He said that he thought the board members needed to work on interpersonal communication between members when they are not in a boardroom. He suggested regularly meeting one-on-one with each other casually to encourage good relations between members.
“We have a pretty good board situation going right now. It would be nice to try and keep this nice, friendly board situation,” Strandberg said.
Some members did point out that they had to be careful about associating casually, due to restrictions from open meeting laws.
One member referenced the board’s previous discussion over masking in schools and emphasized that while members disagreed with each other, they remained respectful of each other. He said the board should make it a goal to continue to work together in a cohesive and respectful manner.
Barton brought up that it might be a good idea to set expectations and norms of behavior for the board, which a couple of members agreed would be a good goal as well.
The board largely seemed to agree to sit on the discussion until the next board meeting and vote on it then.