I attended the May 6 School Administrative District 51 board meeting and was concerned by my observations. The clear division in the board and inability to work together, which began in June 2012, continues. My hope and expectation is that all matters are dealt with between the co-chairmen, superintendent and finance director, so that the district can focus on educational planning.
Why did the board not highlight the district’s recent “A” grades or discuss the Annual District Report? Instead, the meeting was dominated by dissatisfied residents (town councilors, local business representatives, etc.) demanding more facts. The facts are clear: Superintendent Robert Hasson, who has 20 years of distinguished service to our district, has apologized, accepted full responsibility for his actions, and acknowledged that the board should have been better informed. It seems that some are seeking to punish him in a public manner. This type of conversation is inappropriate for public comment.
I encourage our co-chairmen to work cohesively and help guide more effective and productive conversations at the May 20 workshop. The concern of safety was discussed multiple times by the board and with the community in early January and rapidly became a call to action. It seems now that safety has morphed into a concern about “a policy.” Please, if need be, fix the policy, continue to provide locked doors with one push of a button, learn more about our student and qualitative data, and the results of these negotiations as the process moves forward.