For my reflection, I watched a recorded video of a special school board meeting of the Truman High School X176 in Bronx, New York. The meeting was held on 12th September 15, 2022. The president began the meeting by acknowledging that it was special in nature, owing to the notice being disseminated to the public through radio stations and public notice boards. The purpose of the special meeting was to discuss the 2023/2024 budget workshop and to attract public submissions on issues of interest to them in the education sector. In attendance were Ms. Adams and Ms. Modder, the president and vice president, respectively; Mr. Price, the clerk; Ms. Stevens, the treasurer, and Mr. Battle, Mr. Meadows, and Ms. Schmaling, who are board members.
Ms. Adams brought the meeting to order, and everyone said the pledge of allegiance. After the pledge of allegiance, the president nominated one member to do a roll call of the members. The president called the third item of the agenda and welcomed comments from the public, including written submissions. The majority of the initial submission from the public was a mix of praise for the district board and criticism. What came out clearly from the public submissions were suggestions for the board to consider henceforth. Among the submissions from the public were commendations for the district increasing cost of living for its staff, suggestions for reducing sugar intake in breakfast offered to students by the district board, and inclusion of track athletes in yearbooks.
After the public submissions, the president took the attendees through a discussion of the 2023/2024 budget workshop. The budget of the 2023/2024 financial year discussion was the main agenda of the meeting to discuss how the board could allocate funds to the schools in the district. The idea in this part of the meeting was to divide the attendees into groups to act out different budget scenarios. In between the presentation, the president made jokes to lighten the atmosphere of the meeting. This part of the meeting was the main agenda of the meeting; and was, therefore, more engaging for the attendees. While in their groups, the attendees discussed amongst themselves the different scenarios presented to them and reached different conclusions. After each brainstorm session, the president engaged the attendees in a one-on-one interaction to find out their recommendations for the budget scenarios.
Generally, the president conducted the meeting in an engaging and fun way by incorporating ideas and suggestions from the attendees. The presentation was very civil since the meeting was engaging and accommodating of all the submissions from the attendees. Given that this was a special meeting; to discuss the 2023/2024 budget, it was more of a feedback collection meeting; hence no arguments were forwarded for or against an issue presented by any of the attendees. I was particularly surprised by the attendance of the public in the budgetary make-believe scenarios.
This was the first school board meeting I have ever viewed, and I felt there were a lot of key takeaways from the whole activity. For instance, I have always thought that budget issues have always been a reserve of the board members. However, the inclusion of the public in the make-believe budget scenarios surprised me a lot. My key takeaway from watching this meeting is how diversity in terms of gender, age, race, and thinking can drive a collective toward achieving common goals. I will use this lesson in my class to be appreciative of all submissions of my students regardless of whether they are right or not; each opinion counts towards a common idea.
Overall, this seemed to be a productive and well-run meeting with good discussions where each member was respectful to one another despite having different views on certain budgetary scenarios. The president was also very accommodating of the submissions of the attendees throughout her whole presentation.
Special School Board Meeting – Sept. 12, 2022. [Video]. YouTube. Web.