Picture Rockwood, as Largest St. Louis County District, in One Photo

Draft "photos" will be presented in the second round of new community engagement workshops held by Rockwood School District representatives Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.

Capturing Rockwood School District's vision in one photo—can it be done? That is the mission of the current round of community engagement sessions under way, deemed "Picture Rockwood."

See previous article:  'Picture Rockwood' Community Workshops Start Next Week

The second round of sessions will be held Tuesday (tonight) at 7 p.m., and the corresponding daytime session will be Thursday at 9:30 a.m. Both the evening and daytime sessions will be conducted in the Administrative Annex, A100, in Eureka.

One of the project's community chairs, Jen Thomas, told Rockwood Board of Education directors at Thursday evening's board meeting that committee members have been incredibly busy. "Approximately 300 participants attended the first Picture Rockwood session," she said. "And we're anticipating an even larger audience this week. The buzz about it all is definitely occurring."

Thomas serves as the Lafayette community chair. Chris Hageman functions as the Rockwood Summit community chair. Park Plank volunteers as the Eureka community chair, and Shemain Kenney serves as the Marquette community chair. They are four of 20 participants operating on the project's facilitating team, which includes Rockwood Superintendent Bruce Borchers.

To begin this week's Picture Rockwood series, Thomas said a brief recap regarding the district's financial outlook will be provided. She said eight hypothetical pictures then will be presented as possible approaches in how the district might move forward.

"Participants can choose pieces and parts of different photos, given the priorities most ideal to them," said Thomas.

She said the ultimate goal is to narrow possible photos to one or two pictures to take to the whole Rockwood-related community. She said when the series of input sessions conclude in December, facilitating committee members will review all verbatim feedback along with the summaries, before making their final recommendations to the district's board of directors mid-January. 

"Consensus is important, and this process is considerably challenging. We are feeling the weight and magnitude of this effort as chairpersons," said Thomas.

Rockwood board of director Bill Brown said the amount of work going into the project from the people in the district's cabinet as well as the facilitating team is impressive. "It is not a sham, and good people are putting good thought into it."

Eileen Tyrrell October 10, 2012 at 02:55 AM
I attended tonight's workshop. "Pictures of Rockwood" were predictable.
Julie Brown Patton October 10, 2012 at 03:08 AM
What type of topics were the sample photos, Eileen? And how were diverse groups portrayed?
Eileen Tyrrell October 10, 2012 at 03:19 AM
The pictures were all about budget cuts, tax increases and bond issues. Diverse groups?
Julie Brown Patton October 10, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Rockwood serves the needs of diverse types of students and situations; guess I thought it would be challenging to squeeze all that diversity into less than 10 photos and was eager to hear how that was tackled.
Eileen Tyrrell October 10, 2012 at 04:52 AM
The photos were not photos, but legal-size documents of assumptions/descriptions/conditions aka revenue projections/potential tax rate increase/ budget cuts. Exactly what was in Guiding Change. No picture of Rockwood structure; operations; priorities. For example; the district uses a zero base budgeting model where you start from with a clean slate and build from there. So, if that is the case the first priority in a school would be curriculum, students, teachers, classrooms and support staff to tutor students. Therefore, you build the "picture of Rockwood" from a clean slate. Adding services and needs from the point of the classroom, teacher, student and parent. This is how structure, priorities and operations are built; aka zero-based budgeting. If students were the priority than curriculum, and academic intervention support for struggling students would be 100% funded by our tax dollars. Instead, these to items are not a priority in zero-based budgeting. In one picture curriculum is on hold and academic intervention is only on a few pictures.


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