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'Picture Rockwood' Community Workshops Start Next Week

VIDEO: How many parents and patrons will plug into this new program designed to develop a plan for the future of the Rockwood School District?

administrators and Board of Education directors are launching a new community engagement process designed to collect various concepts and feedback about the district's future priorities. A series of workshops will enable public participation in what organizers deem a creative but structured manner. The project is called "."

According to the program's description, as sessions progress, a variety of “pictures” or conditions and circumstances of what Rockwood might look like in the future will be presented. Participants will be asked to evaluate those pictures, determine their preferred picture and suggest improvements to the picture. 

The goal of the effort is to narrow the "pictures" into a cohesive vision.

At the most recent Rockwood Board of Education meeting held Thursday evening, one of Picture Rockwood's four facilitators and school community chairs, resident Park Plank, provided a program update. "The facilitating team has been focused on how the workshops can be best run smoothly, fairly and effectively," he said.

Plank said he and other facilitating team members reviewed the workshop calendars and timelines again, and added more meetings for themselves inbetween the scheduled public workshops so they could make overall adjustments depending on public feedback.

Plank said while reservations are not being required for the series of workshops, a good number of people have signed up for next week's kickoff sessions.

Rockwood's Chief Communications Officer Kim Cranston confirmed about 180 people are expected for next week, based on online commitments received, with approximately 80 percent of respondents indicating they will attend the evening session versus the complementary morning session.

Plank said for each workshop scheduled, participants can attend the morning or the evening delivery of that workshop, with the idea stemming from providing flexibility for various people's schedules. But, the series of workshops are designed to build on another, so those who attend all of them will have a better understanding of the process—as opposed to someone who only could attend one session.

All of the scheduled sessions will be held at the in Eureka.

Rockwood board director Sherri Rogers said Thursday night all of the district's directors unanimously support this Picture Rockwood process. New directors Rogers and Bill Brown are serving as the board's liaisons to the program's facilitating team. "It's a community-driven process that will identify future critical needs for our students. Parents and patrons will help define priorities, with difficult decisions having to be made," Rogers said.

"It's truly citizen-driven."

Rogers told Plank at the board meeting she applauds the dedication and time devoted from the four school community chairs and rest of the team members.

Picture Rockwood's four school community chairs were established to represent the education level "feeding patterns" within the district's four quadrants. Plank represents , while Jennifer Thomas represents . Rockwood Summit High School is being represented by Chris Hageman, and Marquette High School is represented by Shemain Kenney.

Not every Rockwood resident feels included in the process, though, as expressed in a letter to the editor published on Patch Thursday:  . However, Rockwood board director Bill Brown said Thursday evening that Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions proactively was asked for potential participants for the facilitating team. "RS for RS suggested four candidates. They were all fine candidates, and two were selected for the facilitating team," said Brown.

Plank said at the end of the workshop series, all of the resulting "pictures" and feedback will be assembled into a presentation and "taken onto the road for a blitz," giving Rockwood districtwide residents one more chance to plug into the process and react to the recommendations.

Eileen Tyrrell September 07, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Julie: Thank you for reporting on such an important issue in our community. RS for RS position about the community engagement process is misrepresented in this article. We will be releasing a statement clarifying our position in the next couple of days. Thank you, Eileen Tyrrell RS for RS Spokesperson
Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions September 10, 2012 at 06:12 PM
September 10, 2012 Julie Brown Patton, Editor Eureka-Wildwood Patch Re: Article from September 7th - Picture Rockwood' Community Workshops Start Next Week We respectfully submit a correction. RS for RS was not asked to proactively participate, we were asked for a list of citizens willing to participate. There is a big difference. We are not like the PTO's or the Teacher's Unions who collect dues, hold meetings, elected officers, etc. We are a watchdog group, a voice for the people, formed for the purpose of bringing the "real issues" of the stakeholders to the forefront. We have subscribers, readers, and followers; however you want to refer to them. They are on our email list and receive our blogs, newsletters, alerts, etc. We are about educating, informing and encouraging engagement of stakeholders in their school district. As we do not have an official membership structure with dues or meetings, when we received the request from Director Brown to "pick" 4 four citizens who we felt would like to serve on the Facilitating Team, our spokesperson responded by stating; we would never feel we could "select" citizens to be interviewed to serve, however we would put out a "call to action" to approximately 400 of our nearly 3,000 subscribers about Directors Brown’s request. And we did. con't below
Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions September 10, 2012 at 06:13 PM
2 of 2 It should be noted that Rockwood School District DID NOT put out a call to action informing stakeholders they were seeking interested persons to serve on a community engagement Facilitating Team. The only public notice that went out to our community informing stakeholders of the need was from RS for RS. RS for RS did not select a representative. That is not our role or responsibility. RS for RS is a watchdog group, therefore our job is to watch the district and hold them to their word. The community engagement process is supposed to be about LISTENING to the stakeholders from a "broad range" of the community and not the "usual suspects" (as stated by Unicom Arc). After seeing the demographic make-up of the citizen’s team that is charged with leading this engagement process and the format of the workshops, it looks more like a campaign to refocus the community. We are very skeptical of the Picture Rockwood process. We hope we are wrong. Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions Keeping the focus on fiscal responsibility, students and teachers Eileen Tyrrell, Co-Founders/Spokesperson Doug Aegerter, Rene Artman, Charlotte Fink, David Miller, Larry Tyrrell - Advisors Eureka Missouri 636-222-8305 rsdstakeholders@gmail.com email rsdstakeholders.org website/blog
Meghan King September 14, 2012 at 02:39 PM
The first session of Picture Rockwood was very informative. The Facilitating Team did a wonderful job of communicating the critical facts about the state of our district. Everyone that cares about the future of Rockwood, our students, our staff and our community, needs to take note, pay attention, and get involved. Without the support of everyone, our district might look very different in the future. Meghan King-Bowles Elementary

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