Willsboro middle school math teacher Brian White talks to members of the Willsboro Central School District’s Board of Education. Board members have been visiting different departments and classrooms in the school throughout the year.
Standing at the front of the class, Charmaine Flynn quizzed the room about how to graph a parabola on calculators.
But instead of teaching her regular classes, she was teaching members of the Willsboro Central School Board of Education.
Throughout the school years, the five-member board has been taking a “tour” of the different departments and classrooms throughout the school, learning more about what each is teaching, the goals for each department and the challenges they are facing as the state moves toward common core curriculum.
“All of the departments have been making presentations, and the board has been actively engaged in this process,” Superintendent Stephen Broadwell said. “I have to commend them for getting into the school and wanting to see the students, faculty and staff, and they are finding this very enlightening.”
“We have spent a day in the school going to the classes and being with students in gym and at lunch,” School Board President Craig Jackson said. “If we are going to be making decisions that are going to be for the benefit of the school district, it will help us to spend a day in their shoes.”
Along with spending a day in the school, the time spent at the beginning of each School Board meeting allows members of the board to have more interaction with the staff.
“It is nice to get a snapshot of what goes on in the classroom,” board member Jon Steeves said.
“We get to see them in their classrooms and see what they are using in their teaching,” board member Bruce Hale said.
“We wanted to experience what they do so we can help manage the school better,” board member Phylis Klein said. “I think that they know that we are very supportive because we try to keep in constant communication with them, and that is the key to any good relationship.”
“It helps to see what is going on and what the teachers are seeing with the new curriculum,” board member Don Hollingsworth said.
For the teachers, the chance to visit with members of the School Board is something they appreciate.
“I think it is fantastic,” Flynn said. “Our School Board is very involved and very concerned with the students, and they show their interest in that by being here during school days and meeting with departments and teachers.”
“I like the idea that they have the chance to keep connected with what is really happening in the classroom,” teacher Marge Jaquish said.