Question 8

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Would it be helpful to identify core principles of communication (i.e., what we do and don’t want in this regard)?

What we do want: Two-way constructive communication. As a parent I expect our questions to be answered, and if the answer is 'We don't know yet' then I expect to be told what steps are being taken to find an answer. - Dave Jones

Communication (like many things in life) is a journey — I'm not sure that we can definitively define what we want and what we don't for all time. We'll need to keep coming back to the core questions! Perhaps this is the place where we discuss the idea of a collegiality clause. Mary

I agree with Mary. The expectation of civil discourse is legitimate and fundaemental to a respectful School community.

I, for one, am not uncomfortable with the answer, we don't know yet. If the respondant is being honest and says that when there is answer, it will be communicated, that's acceptable. As David Charlton emphasized, the business model that is an independent school places inherent constraints on decision making. Add the economic crisis to that and you have a situation where the answer just may not be possible. We can talk about this on Tuesday. Sally

I think the two-way communication desire, as Dave mentioned, is a very real and very valid concern at the LS. That said, there is also the very real and valid need as administrators to have the room to operate and make decisions as leaders of the school and decide as in #5 and #6 (from the brief of points from the NAIS article in Q2) what is inclusive and on the table for parental input. There's got to be a comfortable balance between the two. As an administrator, my goal is for parents to feel that I am accessible and that my door is always open AND that there is an effective respponse to their concerns. I think parents at the LS do feel that the fac/staff here are approachable and that is where the majority of questions get answered. It seems like a more regular forum for interactive communication might be the answer. Some ideas would be the parent coffees that the P. Assoc puts on, perhaps occasionally having a specific agenda item to discuss for feedback? Or maybe a format that is less "social" would be a better vehicle? Ideas? Mia

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