Shawano school board advised on better communication

Group recommends more transparency, online access
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

SHAWANO — The Shawano School Board received some suggestions Monday night on how to improve transparency between the school district and the families who utilize its education services.

Shelby Kaveinga, a member of a group called Shawano School Stakeholders, said her group has been working on identifying strengths and weaknesses with school and district communication. The group distributed a survey that indicated taxpayers would like to be able to access video feeds of school board meetings.

“Nearly 50 percent of the people who responded said they wanted to see a live feed used on social media,” Kaveinga said. “Some indicated they’d like to see the board meetings live streamed.”

Kaveinga noted that the superintendent forum, where the three candidates were questioned by the public, was one example of what people would have liked to see online, since some were unable to attend the event that night.

“They said they’d like to know what’s going on at meetings, but they have little kids or they work late, so if they could watch it when they got home, as well as the smaller committee meetings, to have a better idea of what’s going on.”

About two-thirds of the respondents said the district’s website needs to be more user friendly.

“They would like to be able to access information easier and have town hall forums on hot topic issues or new policies that come up,” Kaveinga said.

The survey also indicated parents feel teachers are communicating well with them, although Kaveinga did not give out numbers when she spoke to the board.

“People are generally satisfied,” she said. “Of course, there’s always room for improvement.”

Parents would prefer to see communications on their children’s progress in the form of texts and emails, Kaveinga said, but there were a few who still preferred paper notes.

“People said, I’m much easier to get on my phone,” Kaveinga said. “I’d like to get a quick notification when something’s going on instead of waiting for something to come home in a backpack and maybe my child loses it.”

Kaveinga said there is a Remind app that some teachers are utilizing, and Shawano School Stakeholders is recommending that the app be used by all staff.

Kaveinga said the group is doing a series of surveys and plans to offer more results in the future.