Green Bay school board finally hires facilitators
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – After weeks of discussion the Green Bay school board has approved the hiring of not one, but two outside facilitators to help improve its effectiveness, which all members have acknowledged is a problem.
“We as a board have to collectively get our act together,” Trustee Katie Maloney said at a board meeting earlier this month. “We need to learn to work well together, we need to learn to disagree in a civil manner and we need be able to function as a board to lead this district.”
It is the hope of the board facilitation retreats will help members resolve a split, which partially stems from different opinions on how leadership roles should be carried out and about how agendas are put together.
Board members approved the contracts in two separate motions at its Monday, May 20, meeting.
One is with Beverly Scow, of ToP Facilitation Training, to not exceed $1,000 and another with Drew Howick, from Howick Associates, to not exceed $5,000.
Planning is already underway.
A board retreat with Scow is planned at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 10.
Board President Brenda Warren said that possible one-on-ones or two-on-ones, based on board member availability, will take place in preparation leading up to the retreat with Scow.
Warren will be touching base with Howick in the coming week to set up dates for his facilitation services.
Money in the professional development fund, being used to pay for the facilitation services, needs to be spent by the end of June.
School resource officer contracts renewed
The school board has opted to renew its agreement with the Green Bay Police Department for school resource officers, with the school district footing the bill.
“I really appreciate the work that has gone into this contract addressing the needs of the district,” said Board Vice President Andrew Becker.
Eleven law enforcement officers will be assigned to GBAPSD schools as resource officers – school and community.
Resource officers will work 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at their designated school during the school year, and help protect public safety.
Each officer has an office at their school, but remains a Green Bay Police Department employee, not a district employee.
As part of the contract, resource officers are responsible for providing age-appropriate classroom presentations to students to promote safety and security.
In previous years, Trustee Rhonda Sitnikau said these presentations have not been taking place.
The district has received feedback from parents about the lack of presentations – noting that presentations might be scheduled, but are then canceled and not rescheduled.
“Looking at the contract, we are footing this entire bill – and with money comes expectation and after that comes accountability,” Sitnikau said. “I am hoping we will have improvement with that part of the contract.”
Going forward, Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld said district staff is now meeting monthly with resource officer leadership to ensure the district’s needs and expectations are being met and addressing any issues that may arise.
“(District staff) has worked tirelessly on this,” Langenfeld said. “I am very confident with the work that has been done to really assure that the contract is followed.”