So the video that I thought was the Board Meeting was actually the May 2nd kick-off of a book study series:
The book is “District Leadership That Works: Striking the Right Balance” by Dr. Robert Marzano. The audio quality of the video is not the best and for me it was impossible to make out the author’s name from Dr. Wiegand’s introduction (I had to ask). Dr. Wiegand spent a good bit of time introducing the topic and the clincher for me is that 1) she is straight-up in acknowleding that the district has issues with trust and she is doing something about it, and 2) she is using these book discussions as a way to build “safe environments” with and for teachers/principals (ie, building-level staff) based on Dr. Mark Aber’s recommendations (see 2009 Climate Study). She then introduced Director of the Center for Education in Small Urban Communities Dr. Lisa Monda-Amaya and College of Education Associate Professor Dr. AJ Welton. These two bring a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and passion to the table – and that is a good thing. I really like how they set some solid ground-rules for discussion as well (I am going to have to steal their ideas); basically, each discussion group should check itself once in a while and take a breather – if you find that you have done 90% of the talking, you need to zip it up and actively try to get others to speak up. However on the other hand, the book club is a good 1 hour in before the facilitators finally hand over the reigns and actually let the discussion groups loose. And even though they laugh about it, it is a bit ironic.
Overall, I am really excited about this book discussion. Not that I am a part of it – I received the DVD purely by accident.