Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BOE seeks volunteers for Community Planning session.

The Ridgewood Board of Education has announced that we will engage in a community planning process to help structure the District’s strategic planning for the next three years. As part of that process, the Board is seeking residents (not just parents, but any residents) willing to engage in a one-session meeting in mid-January, joining district staff members, village administrators, civic group members and other community representatives.

Educational consultants Sousa & Stern will be facilitating the one-time Community Planning session on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at the Education Center, 49 Cottage Place, Floor 3, from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. If you wish to be considered to be part of this process, please contact Debra Anderson, Public Information Officer, at 201-670-2700, ext. 10555, or via e-mail at danderson@ridgewood.k12.nj.us.

The number of participants is limited, so if you'd like to take part, please contact Debra Anderson by January 3, 2011.


Anonymous said...

"Educational consultants Sousa & Stern will be facilitating the one-time Community Planning session..."

How much is this costing. With all the doctors of education we have running around, isn't one of them smart enough to "facilitate" this one time exercise in ja-ja futility.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie,

What are the odds that they would pick me if I volunteered?

Joseph Alvaro

Laurie said...

Hello, Joseph. First, the cost is $1,200. Second, I obviously don't agree that this is an exercise in futility. Third, it's not about being "smart enough." It's more a function of bandwidth and expertise. These two people will facilitate the four-hour session using a series of large- and small-group activities. Their stated goal is to "bring the group to consensus" and to come back to the Board with a report on:
• Common threads in visioning
• Belief statements
• Mission statement
• Major goal areas
• Strategies to support the goals

At the public BOE meeting where this was approved, I stated that I would rather conduct an in-depth strategic planning process, but this is a start. (And a much less expensive, and less time-consuming commitment.) I have a healthy skepticism of anyone that uses "visioning" as a verb, but I do think this session will be a positive activity to engage the community and gather some input from outside the Ed Center.

As to your odds of being picked: I'm not sure how the process is working, but I do know that a variety of viewpoints are welcome. Anyone who truly wants to participate and collaborate (which probably is not someone who thinks the whole thing is futile) should volunteer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie,

Well... you never answered my question.

Happy New Year,


Laurie said...

Joseph, I think the odds are good that you would be picked if you volunteered. I cannot place actual number odds ;) BTW, there is no "picking" per se. There is a maximum number of people that is the goal, to be productive (approx. 40-50). If there are more volunteers than slots, there will be a "lottery." The District is currently closed for break, so I do not know how many volunteers they currently have. So...long story short: if the max has not been met, then your odds are good. If the max has been met, then your odds are the same as everyone else's in a random drawing. Sorry I was not more clear earlier -- I needed to go back to my notes to see how the group was being solicited/selected.

Laurie said...

OK, I solved the mystery...I thought you were saying that you didn't like my response, but then I discovered that my original response never posted. Strangely, my own comment on my own blog was flagged as "spam!" Huh?

Sorry for the confusion. Happy new year to you, too.