Despite challenges, school board members reflect on what is working well

It’s no secret that Kansas school boards have been under pressure trying to manage K-12 education during a pandemic. 

But school board members recently reflected during KASB regional roundtable meetings about lessons learned and things that have worked well since schools were shut down last year and reopened this year in various methods. 

Emerging from breakout room discussions on zoom, board members reported that communication channels have improved with staff, parents and other local officials in trying to continue school operations amid changing levels of the virus. 

“Improved levels of communication at all levels trying to keep information in front of all individuals,” said Pam Dankenbring, who is a member of the Marysville USD 364 board and a KASB Region 4 Vice President. 

Board members also praised teachers and administrators for finding alternative ways of teaching students and for community involvement to help get students back to school. Some noted that students seemed more energized now and that some schools were fast-tracking school redesign proposals. 

The roundtables held Wednesday and Sept. 30 also included briefings from legal staff and updates on the progress of the Legislative Committee, which will help guide KASB’s advocacy work in the 2021 legislative session. 

Board members said they want the state to remain committed to school funding increases that were part of the Gannon lawsuit, increasing broadband access, focusing on helping students who are in foster care and making education equity a priority. 

KASB Deputy Executive Director Brian Jordan thanked board members for their commitment to their districts, especially during these difficult months during the pandemic. “Your kids are benefiting from all the hard work you have put in,” Jordan said. 

The next regional roundtable for eastern districts will be Oct. 14. To register for the event, go here. 

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