June 16, 2021
Lawrence, US 91 F
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Preview: Lawrence school board meeting, May 10

The Lawrence school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, May 10.

The meeting begins with an executive session (meaning it’s closed to the public) for 15 minutes to discuss personnel matters with possible vote to follow. The agenda includes another executive session at the end of the meeting for 15 minutes to discuss negotiations for a fair and equitable contract with possible vote to follow.

Below are some noteworthy items from the rest of the meeting agenda.

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Key points — the board will:

Hear a report from staff about the district’s equity plan.

↪ Context: The report gives details about the district’s steps toward its equity and inclusion goals. The presentation slides provided in the board agenda online include a focus on culturally relevant and equity-centered curriculum and its selection process; an update on how district schools are utilizing restorative practices, which are strategies aimed at repairing damaged relationships; training and resources for building equity teams, leadership and staff; and methods the district uses to monitor its progress on equity goals.

Review the district’s new equity policy with a vote to adopt following. If approved, the policy would take effect immediately.

↪ Context: As part of the board policy manual, the purpose of the new umbrella policy is to provide direction for district staff to develop and implement systemwide equity and justice strategies that reduce achievement gaps. The board reviewed the policy’s first draft at its meeting April 26 and recommended minor edits.

Board Vice President Erica Hill made a request for more action-oriented language during the board’s review of the policy: “What I don’t want is the district to have another statement.” Find a draft of the policy here.

Review the district’s board policy manual with a vote to adopt following. If approved, the manual would take effect immediately.

↪ Context: The board last discussed the manual at its March 22 meeting. The proposed manual, found here, provides guidance about the roles and responsibilities of the board and superintendent team, as well as board procedures in ethics, communications, professional development, performance evaluations, and board assignments, structure and meetings. As discussed during the March 22 meeting, the manual revises the procedures to select the board vice president beginning in July 2022 with the board electing the position by nomination and majority vote of the board.

The manual proposes that, beginning in July 2023, the board choose both the president and vice president by nomination and board majority vote. This would replace the previous practice of the board member with the most votes in the general election filling the president position. It also states that board officers elected at the annual July organizational meetings would serve a one-year term and may serve no more than two consecutive terms in that position.

Hear special recognitions given by district staff for the following:

— Student honors and awards at Lawrence and Free State high schools

— West Middle School National Future City Award


Find the board meeting agenda and related documents here.

Watch the live board meeting via livestream here or tune in to Midco Channel 26 at 6 p.m. Monday.

To submit written public comments or to participate via WebEx, email patroncommentary@usd497.org before 5 p.m. Monday. Patrons will receive a link to join the videoconference by phone or computer.

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