Scranton: Decisions, decisions
You thought the leaked potential decision on Roe v. Wade was big news? This week our local school board parted ways with our latest superintendent over irreconcilable differences.
Less than 12 months ago, we were a community battling through COVID issues that were affecting our students in ways that hampered learning, the ability to participate in sports and activities, and be present in our schools with teachers — and the future looked bright!
Led by Superintendent Scott Pankow, our community made some very progressive decisions that led to an adjustment of the over-complicated and overbearing contact-tracing and social-distancing rules that were impacting students negatively. Our school district decided that the best and safest place for kids was to be in school and the decision was proven effective when students returned to school and our community realized that things were going to be okay and classes (and school life) were getting back to normal.
How quickly things changed. Perhaps the complexities of leadership are lost on the general public because transparency is not the most valued aspect of the decisions that are being made in the public interest. Our elected school board officials are asked to make tough decisions and keep the main thing, the main thing — which is students that attend our locally supported public schools.
Decisions moving forward include being as honest with the community as possible about why it seems so difficult to find and retain a leader who will oversee our local schools for more than a few short years. When they leave, how much does it cost us? How does this affect the ability of our district to make available money that directly impacts our students? Is there a systemic issue within our school district leadership that has caused this to happen with some frequency?
Decisions are certainly going to have to be made and some serious self-reflection about how exactly we get through the next few months and years. People and businesses in the community are constantly being asked to do a little more, give a bunch more, and have a little more patience as things get figured out. Sure would be nice to know what can be done to give a superintendent who comes in as our next leader the tools they need to make a long-lasting impact on the direction and future of our school district.
Feeling frustrated? Get involved because these are your schools. Got questions? Ask and demand answers. Want to be part of the solutions? Have a conversation and don’t be afraid to spark your mind. You never know, it might help with all the decisions that will need to be made over the next few months. We are only as good as the people who care enough to ask questions and expect solutions that go beyond a revolving door of leadership.
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