BIDWELL — River Valley High School has recently put out a community interest survey in hopes of developing a school community advisory council by seeking representation and input from each of the school’s attending communities.
“We have Teacher-Based Teams,” said RVHS Math Teacher Tony Gillman. “My team, the community and data team, these have all been created this year to better the school in certain areas… Our community team has decided to partner with the community and we feel a lot of times we want more community involvement at the school. We want parents and members of the community to come in and give their opinion and see what we’re doing and to communicate with them.”
“It seems like all the schools have a town they have to come to and build camaraderie,” said Gillman. “We’re all over the place and spread out. Our plan is to identify community leaders from those areas and build an advisory council. We’re asking the community to submit possible candidates that they believe would support them and what their community wants.”
RVHS Principal T.R. Edwards said the council would be compromised of roughly 12 to 15 members. It would not function like the board of education but more as a community and parent organization seeking to support students, understand school functions, share public opinions to the school and then spread school information to the public.
“We’ve targeted different areas and all these little pockets,” said Edwards. “We want people to feel connected and to feel more connection with their different areas… It may also be nice to have networks automatically built in so we can show our kids different experiences with certain jobs or anything else that people might show.”
“It’s building networks around our community that our kids are going out into so we can have a connection there,” said Edwards. ” We aren’t just targeting community members that are parents. We want anyone interested in the success of youth of our county… We seek first to understand and then to be understood… As a district initiative, we’re looking at a situation as to how we’re going to get input and things like that. We want to tell people what we’re doing but first let’s have them come in and give feedback to start a conversation. We want to see where they’re at.”
RVHS will be holding an event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov.7, the same night as parent and teacher conferences, seeking to further elaborate on its advisory council initiative. Door prizes will be offered among other discussions.
A survey for identifying community interest and school representation can be found on the River Valley High School Facebook page. Information about the initiative will also be mailed to families along with report cards, said Edwards.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.