Aberdeen School District “Talk with the Board” sessions start Thursday

The Aberdeen School Board will meet with members of the community Thursday in the first of 7 opportunities this week for members of the community to meet informally to ask questions, discuss concerns and share ideas on how the District can improve. 

The first three of these meetings will occur on Thursday, July 11 at 10am, 2pm, and 6pm.

Superintendent Dr. Alicia Henderson previously had special “Talk with the Superintendent” sessions on July 2nd and 8th for residents to talk to her.

The school board says that these meetings are in response to public comment received at recent School Board meetings where they say “it was clear that those who came to talk were frustrated by the rules of order and decorum for offering comment, which do not include open dialog with the Board”.  

Following these meetings, some residents spoke out against the board on social media and in the public, suggesting more of a town hall format “to discuss concerns of the Aberdeen School District superintendent and actions by the Board of Directors.”

School Board President Sandra Bielski said in a release that whenever a majority of the School Board is conducting business, it is a public meeting and subject to certain rules of order. 

“Whether it’s a regular meeting or you call it a town hall, the School Board does not discuss personnel matters,” she said. “But we do we want to hear what our community members have to say.”

The board states that they accept comment at their regular meetings, but typically defers any response to a later date. 

“It’s been this way for many, many years,” President Bielski said. “We follow Robert’s Rules of Order, but we also don’t want people to be frustrated. We hope these summer sessions provide more opportunity for discussion.”

The release states that there will be two board members at each session to listen, answer questions or discuss ideas. 

All sessions will take place in the Stewart Building, 900 Cleveland St. 

“The meetings are informal. The Board can only make decisions at a duly convened meeting when a quorum is present.”

The seven “Talk with the Board” sessions have been scheduled on three days:

Each session will have limited capacity and anyone interested in attending should sign up in advance by visiting the District web site at www.asd5.org.

Board members can be contacted individually via email or phone, both of which can be found on the District web site under the School Board tab.