WESTFIELD - The 24 members of the district advisory committee for the feasibility study for centralizing the Brocton and Westfield districts had their first meeting on Thursday in the large group instruction room at the Westfield Academy and Central School.
Each district selected 12 members for the committee, including two students. Consultants from Western New York Educational Service Council (WNYESC) lead the committee through a three-hour session.
The first order of business was an icebreaker, meant to help committee members learn about each other, so the group would act more effectively. Tom Schmidt asked each member to choose a partner, "preferably someone from the other district you do not know."
OBSERVER Photo by Diane Chodan
David Kurzawa from the Western New York Educational Service Council speaks to the Advisory Committee about the critical dates set by the State Education Department for the feasibility study concerning the centralization of the Brocton and Westfield school districts.
Each committee member was given a binder with information. One item included was a tentative timeline prepared by the State Education Department Office of Management. This department has control of the dates. Other items included a guide to the reorganization of schools, names of committee members, ground rules for the way the committee members will work with each other, ground rules for the consultants' work with the committee, and proposed focus groups.
Marilyn Kurzawa, a member of the consulting team, explained the purpose of the focus groups. "A focus group is a data collection tool," she said.
The focus group pulls together a group of people who have similar interests. Examples of focus groups are senior citizens, students, faculty, support staff, community, fire departments and parents. In this area another group will be an agricultural group.
The committee members suggested other types of groups for consideration, and other times for meetings to reach out to more members of the community. The consultants will be finalizing the groups and the times for each meeting shortly.
The meetings of the advisory committee were set. The next meeting will be Nov. 20 at Brocton. The committee will walk through the school to learn about its facilities at 5 p.m. and then meet at 6 p.m.
On Nov. 29, the committee will return to Westfield with a walk through at 5 p.m. and a meeting at 6 p.m.
The Committee will meet on Dec. 11 at Brocton at 6 p.m.
All meetings are open to the public.
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