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IL looking toward rotating meeting venues

October 17, 2012
MEREDITH — Inter-Lakes officials are considering a variety of options to allow for greater participation from all of the district's communities.

During Tuesday's school board meeting, Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond raised the possibility of rotating the school board meetings to Center Harbor and Sandwich, as well as Meredith. Meetings are usually held at the Humiston Building in Meredith, where the SAU office is located. On certain occasions, the meeting will be held at the Inter-Lakes Elementary School library to accommodate more people.

Ormond said other venues could include Sandwich Central School, the Center Harbor Municipal Building (after the building is renovated), and the Meredith Community Center. Ormond said this rotation could take place on the second meeting of the month, which could be turned into more of a work session to discuss various ongoing topics.

Board Chair Richard Hanson said this could bring out more community members, selectmen, and other officials from the different towns. Hanson said this could increase transparency. Ormond said this could bring a better connection to the school district as well as allow for greater discussion of education issues, including the strategic plan and others.

"For us to have that conversation, share that information with the community in a more relaxed conversation," Ormond said. "Maybe bring more community members out."

School board member Howard Cunningham, a representative from Sandwich, said this could be especially beneficial to his community. He said many parents whose children are transferring from SCS to the High School building are especially nervous and would benefit from meeting the principal and teachers in such a meeting environment.

"We're a school board for all of Inter-Lakes," Ormond said. "I want people to recognize that all these communities are important to us."

Hanson said it would be a good way for school board members to reach out to their own communities as well.

"I think we'll start to see some people show up, and it will be for all three communities," Hanson said.

Ormond also said she would like to see the meetings being taped and shown on public access.

"I think it affords everybody the opportunity to hear conversations that happen," Ormond said.

Cunningham raised the issue that Sandwich does not have cable. Board member Lisa Merrill said perhaps a DVD copy of the meeting could be made available

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