After last week’s Kent School District (KSD) board meeting, the district has scheduled four one-hour “community conversation” sessions at the four district high schools.
Confronted by an angry overflow crowd on the news of the district’s intent to make deep staff layoffs due to its current budget shortfall, the board spent three hours listening to impassioned speeches ad questions offered by students, staff, parents, and community at the March 14 meeting.
No dialogue between attendees and the district occurred because of the structure and length of the session. Officials were directed to listen without comment at that time.
Unlike the listening session at the board meeting, the district press release said community conversations will offer dialogue with KSD leadership about the future of the district’s progress, including strategic goals, budget, and facility projects. KSD said these meetings will provide the community an opportunity to engage and ask questions with district administration and representatives.
While staff layoffs were omitted from the list of topics to cover, those questions will probably continue at the April meetings. Fairwood Community News has requested an update regarding this issue; we’ll post an update to this story once we hear from district officials.
State of the District Community Conversation Schedule
Monday, April 16, 6-7 pm | Kent Meridian High School
Tuesday, April 17, 6-7 pm | Kentwood High School
Thursday, April 19, 6-7 pm | Kentridge High School
Tuesday, April 24, 6-7 pm | Kentlake High School
KSD noted that Community Conversations are a part of the district’s strategic plan, offering “face-to-face conversations” to engage in “two-way communications focused on equity and excellence,” said the district.
Translators will be available upon request.