City & Government, Creswell

Advisory committees uphold policy, labor, community relations

There are three district advisory committees involved with the Creswell School District, each managing a specific consulting role: labor management, policy review and community relations. Each committee was established over seven years ago, before Superintendent Todd Hamilton arrived at the district, and their goal is to help the district run smoother.

Labor Management Committee (LMC):
The LMC is required by the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) and the committee works with it to create ”a mechanism for dialogue and a vehicle to discuss issues of mutual concern to staff and administration,” according to its definition.
The LMC includes Hamilton, Board Director Mike Anderson, David Eusted and Lacey Risdal, as well as representatives from OSEA. This committee only meets as needed, and looks at potential misunderstandings based on interpretations of the language in labor agreements.
”(LMC) interacts with a tight association of leaders, and develops relationships and common understanding about how things are operating in the district,” Hamilton said. ”When we go into this type of bargaining, it’s helpful to have quality relationships to feel comfortable brainstorming.”
Anderson added that there is a ”good working relationship between the two groups.”
The committee hasn’t needed to meet for six years.

Community Relations Committee (CRC):
The CRC is ”charged with encouraging the development of partnerships between public and private entities, increasing engagement of the district in the community, (as well as) encouraging and supporting internal and external communication,” according to its definition.
At the moment, the committee is made up of Board Directors Natalie Smathers and Paul Randall; however, it can include Hamilton and district staff, as well as other community members when appropriate.
”We are hopeful to invite a few community members to join our committee in the near future,” Smathers said. ”I was excited to head up this committee because I am passionate about this little town of ours, and even more passionate about the people in it.”
Some of the ideas and goals that Smathers and Randall have discussed implementing through the CRC is: taking a ”ride along” with one of the bus drivers for an entire route; attending and eating a school lunch; connecting with organizations that bring and help positivity in the community; creating a social media presence to share the positive things happening in the district; creating a one-page district events paper calendar or newsletter; and hosting a town hall Q&A event, along with educational events where the board members can share knowledge about their roles.
”I believe our most important goal is for our community to know how much we love and value each of the children in our district,” Smathers said. ”Our desire for them is to have the best education and experience possible, (and) we know we can only accomplish this with the help of our community.”

Policy Review Committee (PRC):
Board Chair Tim Rogers is the leader of the PRC, which meets only as needed, to work with the development or revision of board policies. These can occur in response to changes in Oregon Revised Statutes, legislative action or internal concerns.
PRC works closely with Oregon School Board Association and District staff on policy revisions, and includes Rogers, Hamilton, Board Secretary Marilyn Cruzan and Board Directors Smathers and Kandice Lemhouse-Worsham.
Standard procedure for the committee is a revision or development that comes from the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) and is reviewed and discussed before it is approved. Approval generally takes a couple of weeks, depending on the committees’ availability.
Generally, the PRC only needs to meet two to three times a year. The most recent meeting handled the changes to the the JHCCF and JHCCF-AR policies regarding lice. The Creswell Chronicle covered this policy change in an Oct. 18 story.
”I believe the committee to be very important, as it gives flexibility and time for in depth consideration of individual policy updates, while conserving time at meetings of the full Board,” Rogers said, ”and it is a chance for newer Board members to roll up their sleeves and deeply immerse themselves in familiarizing themselves with District policy.”



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