OPINION: Sweetwater No. 1 School Board Encourages Respectful Discourse in Policy Discussions

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The Sweetwater School District One Board of Education voted to prohibit cell phone usage during school hours for the upcoming academic year.
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The following opinion was written and submitted by The Board of Education for Sweetwater County School District #1.

To our community, 

We are your elected representatives on the Sweetwater County School District #1 Board of Education.

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All 5,438 students enrolled in our district, the fourth largest in our state, are important to us. All our community feels the impact of the choices and policies we enact as your board.

We feel it through our employees, through the employees of our district, through the parents, grandparents, foster parents, and legal guardians, and through the children whose education our district is entrusted with supplying. Most of all, we feel it through our duty and obligation to our role as school board members.

We write to condemn the vitriolic and personal attacks against district personnel. The responsibility and duty of your board members is “to develop and improve through continuous evaluation the educational programs, and to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the youth of the district” and “develop and maintain effective communication with the adult community.”

Policies enacted by your board are ultimately the responsibility of your board. Attacking employees of our district over items presented to your board will not be tolerated or condoned. We call on our fellow community members to express their concerns and feedback to their board in an appropriate manner at our meetings.

This is, and remains, the most effective way to communicate with your board. Contacting individual members is always appreciated but is simply less effective than communicating with your entire board. If you desire your feedback to be effective, please attend our meetings and express yourself at them.

Your board has and continues to work diligently to improve our effective communication with our community. We assure you social media is not and will not be our primary source. We welcome public comment that is courteous and focused on issues not personnel.

Concerns about individual employees are to be addressed following policy KLD found on our district website. We do this because we are invested in our district, our community, and the success of our students.

Our community has the resources to make our district the best in our state. We call on our community to find the will to value education and support our efforts to improve our educational program. 

Yours faithfully, 

Carol Jelaco, Chair
John Bettolo, Vice-Chair 
Matt Jackman, Treasurer
Max Mickelson, Clerk
Trustee George Reedy, Trustee 
Lenny Hay, Trustee 
Stephanie Thompson, Trustee