Brookfield School Looks to Future

The Brookfield Elementary School will be hosting a Community Future Forum on two Saturday mornings in May and June to discuss the potential ramifications – and opportunities – associated with the passage of Act 46 and the new consolidated Orange Southwest School District.

The forums will be facilitated by Mediation Partners NE from Grantham, NH and are open to anyone with a vested interested in the success of Brookwood Elementary School, including parents, school and district staff, and Brookfield community members. Community members will be invited to participate in a survey prior to the forums to identify themes and topics to assist in planning.  

“Given the change to a consolidated district, recent changes in staffing and fluctuating enrollment, the time seems right to address questions, identify needs, talk about concerns, and plan and build for the future well-being of our school,” said Principal Susan McKelvie.  “The outcome of this process, we hope, will be community participation as well as both a long- and short-term vision and timeline for what Brookfield Elementary could and should be, now and into the future. A late fall follow-up meeting will provide an opportunity to check in on progress and to determine additional next steps.”

According to McKelvie, a trained facilitation team will lead the process to ensure it is unbiased and focused on the intended outcomes.  Their work will include surveying the parent community, interviewing a percentage of school and community members, and organizing/leading the format and process of the two forums. After the two days are completed, they will draft out a document that will become the guiding map for the school’s future work together.

“Our hope,” she said, “is that people will come together to talk about “What is Brookfield Elementary? What are its strengths? What challenges does it face? What makes it unique?”

A lot of good comes with consolidation, she said, not the least of which is cost savings and a more level playing field for every student in the district. “But identifying and preserving what makes Brookfield unique is equally important,” she added. “We engaged Mediation Partners to facilitate the forums because they are completely neutral and we didn’t want to impose our own feelings or biases on the discussion.”

The forums are scheduled for Saturday, May 20 and Saturday, June 17 from 9 am to noon.

 

 

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