Judy Gafa President of the Grosse Pointe Board of Education
I read with great interest last week the article and the comments regarding the safety in some of the districts schools. Increasing communication is the key to strengthening the relationship between the district and the community. On the whole I think the district does a good job of communicating with the community. There is a district website, a district facebook page, email blasts, tweets, Board of Education meetings that are televised on two cable providers and yet there still seems to be a disconnect between the district and the community. Community feedback and expectations
I’d like to take a moment and offer several ways that members of the community can contact district administrators and members of the Board of Education. Not only would the board like you to reach out to us we would like to reach out to the community. Feedback is important, at the April 23rd school board meeting Mr. Walsh presented 3 new policies that call for parental, student and staff input, this is an excellent way to see if the district is meeting community expectations and where improvements could be made. Community feedback and input is another way to strengthen the relationship between the district and the community.
There are several ways for the community to obtain more information about the school district, I’d encourage everyone to start with the district website. The address is www.gppss.org. Each individual schools website can be accessed from the home page. There is a wealth of information on this site, that ranges from student enrollment, curriculum offerings, MEAP scores, a staff directory, the ability to contact the school board and administrators.
Central office administrators consist of Superintendent Dr. Thomas Harwood, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Jon Dean, Monique Beels, Chris Fenton and Lee Warras. Rebecca Fannon is our community relations specialist, she promotes the district not only through the website but also manages the district facebook page, Grosse Pointe Public School, search for it on facebook, like the page and you will receive updates on your own facebook page. She will also promote school events on this page. Rebecca can also be contacted through her district email, Rebecca.Fannon@gpschools.org. Information regarding meetings and registration is also posted on the district website.
The ability to contact the school board can also be found on the district website. Under the school board link each member of the board is listed, the financial transparency series can be accessed there. This years current budget planning can be accessed as well as the calendar of future board meetings. Agendas for each meeting are posted prior to the meeting. Past agendas and minutes are archived here as well. The community can also listen to a board meeting on the website via podcast. The members of the Board of Education can also be contacted at Schoolboard@gpschools.org. Board meetings are generally held the fourth Monday of the month. If you cannot attend the board meeting they are aired on Comcast cable station 20 and At&t uverse on channel 99. The meetings generally run for two weeks on these stations and are aired at 8am and 8pm.
I encourage and welcome the community to reach out to district administrators and school board members, with their questions, concerns and ideas. It is important that community members receive accurate information. Rumors and innuendos do not move a discussion forward. An honest open discussion is what will promote this community.
I look forward to continuing a dialogue with the community about the school system. I also look forward to hearing from the community and hopefully will see a few new faces at the next Board of Education meeting to be held May 21st at 7pm in Grosse Pointe North’s High School library