Greenfield Public Schools really needs to improve its communication around the re-opening plan.

I am watching the recording of last night’s School Committee meeting. I am only about twenty minutes into it, but the single public commenter’s remarks about communication from the district hit on a topic that has been bothering me as well.

We are at some point in the district’s phased re-opening plan, and the only way anyone in the community—including parents of students in the district—is to attend these meetings.

There has been ZERO communication from the district about what is going on with the re-opening plan, either to the community at large or to parents.

Even in the School Committee meetings, the updates from the Superintendent consist almost entirely of “Here is all the work that is going on.” That’s fine, and good to hear, but absent any context, it amounts to “Here is how busy we are,” rather than what we actually need to know, which is “Here is how we are progressing against the plan.”

I get that there are negotiations under way with the teachers’ union, confusing advice and guidance from the state, and a whole lot of work under way in the school buildings and around policies and procedures.

I also understand that we are an underfunded district, and I am guessing we do not have anyone who is specifically responsible for communication. The school principals seem to do the best they can to provide updates, but there seems to be no one in the district who owns overall communication.

That said, it is INEXCUSABLE that we are not getting regular updates from the Superintendent about what is currently happening, what is coming up, and where we are at in the overall plan to re-open schools. These should be happening weekly. Absent these sorts of updates, the assumption in the community is—understandably—that nothing is happening and that everything is a mess.

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