Committee plans forums to gather input on school district | SteamboatToday.com

Committee plans forums to gather input on school district

Students congregate in the cafeteria of Soda Creek Elementary on the first day of school in 2013.

— The Steamboat Springs School District steering committee, now named the Community Committee for Education, or CC4E, is planning a series of forums to gather public feedback on the district.

The committee met Tuesday to iron out the details of the forums, which are planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, and from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 31, all at The Steamboat Grand.

The community forums are scheduled for three different time frames to accommodate varying schedules.

Participants will hear an introduction and then join a roundtable-seating configuration to share their thoughts about the district. One community member per table will be asked to facilitate the conversation at a particular table, while a member of the CC4E will take notes on comments.

Feedback about the district will also be collected on notecards for attendees not interested in speaking.

"This is the community's opportunity to weigh in on what you believe is important for education," said Bette Vandahl, who the committee has elected as a chairperson. "We are inviting all — if you are going to have children in our schools, if you have children or had children in our schools, we want to hear from you. And a special invitation to those who haven't had much contact with our schools — share your concerns and hopes for education. We need to hear from you."

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The committee plans to collect comments during the forums and gather demographic data on who attended the events, such as whether the person is a parent or owns residential or commercial property, to determine which segments of the population are giving their input.

The committee's chosen mission is "best education for our students.”

Childcare will be available for the evening meeting, and light refreshments will be provided at each forum.

The committee is working with a communications liaison to build a website for the committee, and members said they are hopeful the site will be finished by the end of this week.

The district is planning to pay for the liaison, and the committee also plans to draw from $1,500 in leftover funds from Citizens for a Better Plan, last November's anti-bond group, for other expenses.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow