Empty Field of Dreams
And, it came to pass, that four Jefferson County School Board members were photographed standing in an empty field.
In a newspaper interview today, I was asked for my reaction to the acquisition of 100 acres outside of Shepherdstown for future schools. I responded that it was a welcome development and looked forward to the new construction.
But I also raised the question of why it has taken a decade to get to the point where we are just finally prepared to start building, given the critical needs of our schools. The reporter raised the Board of Education “company line” that these things just take time. I said I agreed, but multitasking is not a foreign concept to teachers or students. So there should have been a strategic plan to address the critical infrastructure needs of schools to tide them over while the school board did its decade-long, due diligence. Reports of students having to wear coats in the classroom and teachers stuffing towels in windows to keep warm, along with waste baskets being used to catch streams of roof leakage, does not indicate due diligence or the ability to multitask, again something teachers and students do quite well.
Question answered, so there is nothing more to say.
Well, there was. I told the reporter that the photo of four Board members, including three incumbents running for reelection, standing in an empty field underscored for me that the Board of Education has a public relations plan, but lacks an effective communications plan, including leveraging 21st century technologies, to engage Jefferson County community education stakeholders in a meaningful, mutually-beneficial conversation about the future of our schools.