A social media thread over the weekend left some school community stakeholders upset, as tensions were building in anticipation of a regular school board meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16.
The Norwood Public Schools’ board of education has typically held meetings on its campus, and sometimes at Lone Cone Library. On Sunday, though, school administrators made a social media post on Facebook announcing that the meeting would be held in Redvale.
Some commented on the post, questioning the meeting’s move.
In a private email sent directly to The Norwood Post, an individual who does not wish to be identified, said she felt the move was not safe. That’s because the mask mandate is not in effect for Redvale, which is in Montrose County.
San Miguel County still has an indoor mask mandate, and Norwood Public Schools is required to mask up inside the building at all times.
Others expressed disappointment that no Zoom capability would be available. Many people said if the meeting were to be moved outside of town limits, it should at least have the option for people to join remotely. School board meetings have had Zoom capability since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
Administrators replied on the social media thread that the meeting move was decided in advance, last month, and the purpose is to include more of the school community who lives out that way.
School administration said they’re trying to include the more rural demographic “to allow for better interaction with/participation from that half of our school community” the post explained.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience this month, or any moving forward without Zoom,” administrators added in another comment. “Public participation is still encouraged and welcomed as often as one wishes to attend.”
An agenda was posted on the social media thread. It shows a safety resolution set for approval, and some questioned the agenda item in the comments.
For the last few months, the school has been considering arming a staff member for safety, along with other preventative safety measures. A recent school survey went out questioning school families on the matter.
Administrators said the safety survey results can’t be shared in detail because of privacy. But, school administrators posted a pie graph, showing that 67.5 percent of survey participants supported arming a staff member.
“The safety policy will not be shared publicly, as it contains confidential information regarding services, providers, and locations that would negate the safety protocols it looks to employ if they were to be posted publicly,” Norwood school officials said in another comment. “The verbiage of this resolution will be posted (Tuesday) and reviewed during the board meeting for all to have.”
The Norwood Post spoke with principal Sam Ryan on Monday. Ryan said people can choose to attend in-person or not at all. He said the time and location were given with advance notice.
“At the end of the day, it’s not our requirement to post a link for every meeting we hold,” he said.
He added that the safety resolution has been discussed since summer. He said this week’s meeting was not a final decision, but an approval to continue talks with local law enforcement regarding the school’s greater safety plan.