On Tuesday June 22, the Port Washington School Board voted on the first new vision and mission of the school district since I was a high school student here in the 1990s. And while there were committees and some community input via a Thought Exchange in April, the Mission and Vision document is dated May 25, 2021, was made public June 21st and adopted without any community comment in a 7-0 vote on June 22.
Dr. Hynes could have emailed out the mission statement in the email he sent to the district on June 22 at 2:46 pm, but all the email had was the date and time of the board meeting.
As a result of this rushed vote, nobody gets to read it, digest it, think about it or comment on it. Two weeks ago the same thing happened when the board signed a four-year contract with Dr. Hynes without community input, discussion, just a surprise agenda item, 12.4, a 7-0 vote and no impartial discussion of merit.
They say, we “need this now” and “it is for the children” but that doesn’t pass the smell test. The most recent change I could find to the mission statement was from 2007 before all of elementary school and Weber students were even born…so we could have waited a few weeks to hear what the community has to say.
But that is not how Port Washington operates. This action indicates what the Board and Administration really thinks of community input. This is the same board that shut off community comment from Zoom board meetings for almost a year when the community needed engagement the most.
I am looking forward to joining the board and trying to create a culture that respects the members of the community and includes them on discussions. We may not agree, but everyone deserves to be heard.
Presenting and voting a new mission in the same night? Port Washington deserves better. In July, Port Washington will get better.
Adam E. Block, PhD
Board Member Elect, 2021-2024