The Second Meeting

The purpose of the second Steering Committee meeting was to provide an update on work team progress, identify top priorities for survey questions, approve the plan for the first Citywide Conversation, and offer guidance to one another through a consultancy protocol.

Opening Activity

  • Purpose: Instill an understanding of the importance of addressing a diverse range of learning needs as Committee members envisioned the future of the school district.

  • Activity: A clip of a TED talk by Todd Rose, entitled “The Myth of Average” was shown. In this video, the Harvard professor envisions a new way of designing education systems that nurture individual potential. The Steering Committee members were asked to turn to a partner and share reflections on the video, including what the video helped them learn about Salem. These reflections were then shared with the larger group.

Work Team Updates

  • Purpose: Allow time for Committee members to share reflections on the progress of the work teams and ask any necessary questions. This also allowed the Committee to identify any potential overlaps between the work of the six work teams.
  • Activity: Prior to the Steering Committee meeting, a pre-read document was shared with the Committee that contained progress updates from each work team. During this part of the agenda, Steering Committee members were asked to reflect upon the pre-read document, responding to the following questions:
    1. What stood out to you from what you read?
    2. What do you need to know more about?

Community Survey – Overview & Prioritization

  • Purpose: Identify high-priority questions for the community survey and develop a shared understanding of the topics that should be included in the survey.
  • Activity: A member of the Senior Management Team shared a set of draft questions for the community survey. The Committee was then divided into groups and each group was asked to do the following:
    1. Choose up to 2 questions per section that you feel are the most crucial to this process. Record the question numbers on a pink post it
    2. Choose 1 question per section that you feel is the lowest priority.  Record these on a yellow post it.

The full Committee re-convened and each group was asked to report out, responding to the following questions:

  1. Why did you choose what you chose? 
  2. What do the questions you chose address?
  3. Are there any questions that you didn't see that you think should be part of the survey?

Overview of Citywide Conversation Agenda

  • Purpose: Obtain feedback from the Committee on the draft agenda for the first Citywide Conversation, and encourage all Committee members to attend -- and ask their work teams to attend as well.
  • Activity: Share the draft agenda for the first Citywide Conversation and allow a few minutes for feedback/questions.

Work Team Consultancy Protocol

  • Purpose: Allow time for work team co-leads to share challenges they are encountering with one another and seek advice and guidance from other co-leads and Committee members. The consultancy group served the role of ‘external consultants’  who provided an objective, unbiased evaluation and brought in an outside perspective.
  • Activity: Co-leads from different work teams were paired with one another to discuss key issues their teams were facing. The process used was as follows:
    1. Co-lead presents key question (3 minutes)
    2. Consultancy group asks clarifying and probing questions (3 minutes)
    3. Consultancy group identifies potential solutions (7 minutes)
    4. Co-lead repeats back what he/she heard from the consultancy group (2 minutes)

The Steering Committee then reconvened as a group. The presenting co-leads from each consultancy group were asked to report out to the group what they discussed and what steps they might take to address the challenge they presented.

Due to time constraints, each consultancy group was only able to address one of the two work team’s challenges. Please note that since this activity is discussion-centric, it took up more than the time prescribed above. In retrospect, we should have allowed more time for this activity.

Closing and Next Steps

  • Purpose: Allow Committee members to reflect on their takeaways from the meeting.
  • Activity: Each Committee member was asked to share one step they will take based on the feedback/ideas they heard during the meeting. Committee members were then reminded of the next meeting date and the meeting was closed.