Wake County school board members might still sing Kumbaya after all during the two-day retreat today and Saturday with Superintendent Tony Tata.
As noted in today's article, Tata says a big chunk of the retreat will be focused on how to build consensus. He said the retreat will also provide an opportunity for board members to better get to know him and each other.
“I’m not saying that we’ll agree on everything,” Tata said. “My intention is to discuss with them the best practices for high-functioning boards.”
The retreat comes after school board member Kevin Hill's two consensus-building work sessions were cancelled this month because of scheduling conflicts.
Tata said the Broad Superintendents Academy is paying for Jim Huge to facilitate the event. Along with the audits and assistant it's providing, it's another example of how Broad is becoming more heavily involved in Wake.
One of the things Tata said will be discussed is communications protocol between him and the board. Tata said he wants to know when the board wants him to communicate with them on issues.
For instance, Tata said he's asked board members to let him know anytime that they contact staff. He said he's also asked staff to let him know anytime they contact board members. He said this allows him to learn about what's happening.
"What I want is a unified governance structure," Tata said.
In advance of the retreat, Tata gave school board members some advance reading. He gave them copies of the book "What Schools Boards Can Do: Reform Governance for Urban Schools."
Today's meeting runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at Apex Town Hall, 73 Hunter Street. Tomorrow's meeting runs from 9 a.m. to noon in the board conference room at 3600 Wake Forest Road in Raleigh.
School board chairman Ron Margiotta said he's hoping they'll be able to cancel Saturday's meeting. He said he's willing to stay later today. Whether other board members agree remains to be seen.
The Friday meeting has been moved to a third-floor conference room.