Thursday, March 23, 2023

Did you know? Board Retreat tonight (3/23/23)

A board retreat was scheduled for today at 4:00PM. And I just found the announcement on a Special-Called Board Meeting, when I viewed the Agenda page for board meetings.

That Special-Called Meeting was to be held at 3:00PM, with the only topic of Superintendent Search.

Neither meeting was live-streamed.

Part of the 4:00PM Retreat was a presentation of "The Role of the Board". Be sure to look at the attachment, which can be found at Item 3.2 of the agenda. The presentation is well-organized.

Examine the attachment here:$file/The%20Role%20of%20School%20Board%20Members_Richland%202.pdf

I hope all board members were present, awake and alert. Attorney Ashley Story of White & Story, LLC was primed to present solid information to the board. Her presentation and discussion could have been "the" single topic for a full workshop.

Yet there were eight other items on the agenda under New Business - No Action Requested. Did they get to all of them? How long were they there?

I wonder why the decision was made not to live-stream that retreat. The public certainly would have been interested in Attorney Story's presentation!

Safety and I.G. Committees, March 21

I wanted to attend both meetings held on Tuesday. The Safety Committee met at 6:00PM, and the I.G. Report Committee met at 6:00PM.

I started out at the I.G. Report Committee. I was the only visitor. In addition to the three board members (Washington, Porter, Trapp) two staffers were there. 

I was immediately unimpressed with how the meeting started, so I left and went to the Safety Committee. 

Two board members (Nash, Scott) were present; McFadden was absent. Two parents had been chosen to be on the Committee, and the Teacher of the Year was there. A young woman (student?) was seated with the Committee.

I lasted 20 minutes there. 

Apparently, I define and understand "Safety" differently than the Committee.

Perhaps something productive happened after I left. I hope so.

Board Meets on Parliamentary Procedure

On Tuesday, March 21, at 4:45PM the Richland Two school board met in a public session devoted to parliamentary procedure. The invited speaker/trainer/consultant was Attorney Helen McFadden.

Attorney McFadden is a noted expert on Robert's Rules of Order. Her clients have included the Richland Two board itself (that's where I first met her; she noticed I had a copy of Robert's Rules of Order with me). She has been a parliamentarian for several public bodies, including Beaufort (S.C.) County Council (at $250/hour in 2021), the Democratic National Committee, the State legislature, and other organizations.

For an hour she led a discussion on Motions and secondary motions. I was the only visitor at yesterday's meeting. It was an official meeting of the school board, because a quorum was present.

Was that sole topic worth the cost of hiring her for that meeting?

Have the Board members taken the available online trainings on Robert's Rules of Order? Have they attended workshops at SCSBA conferences, the attendance for which costs Richland Two more than a pretty penny? Is the District getting its money's worth for those expenses?

The public should be seeing a steady increase in professionalism and organization at board meetings, starting with control over the agenda and significant steps to curtail the length of board meetings.

There are one chief (Board Chair) and six Indians. This board is acting like there are one chief and five Indians who want to be Chief. The Board is not an after-school club. It should be considered a serious business organization. It is! It's a Billion Dollar business with a $300 Million budget.

It should be a leader in efficiency and professionalism. It should understand its role.

Most of this board have only had to balance their family checkbooks. It is imperative that they learn to function as executives and leaders, not as managers or employees. Will they?

If the Indians don't like the way things are being run, on June 27, 2023 they can elect a new Chief.