Superintendent's Chats

Strong relationships between schools and families play a critical role in the education and success of students and we are committed to continuously building these partnerships.

With a goal of fostering transparent, two-way communication, Superintendent of Monroe School District, Dr. Fredrika "Deka" Smith, extends an open invitation to families for a monthly "Superintendent's Chat." Family members are welcome to come ask questions, provide input and share viewpoints on district procedures, practices and policies. In order to accommodate busy schedules, monthly meetings will be offered both in the morning from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and in the evening from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

The Superintendent's Chats will occur monthly, typically on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings are held in the Board Room at the District Administration Office, 200 East Fremont Street, Monroe. The schedule of meetings for the 2018-19 school year is as follows:

Thursday, October 11, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 8, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 13, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m. (School Board Community Conversation)
Thursday, January 10, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 14,10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 14, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m. (School Board Community Conversation)
Thursday, April 11,10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 9, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 6:00-7:00 p.m.

We welcome families to join us as much as their schedules allow!

To further foster open communication, we are also encouraging each school's parent group (PTA, PTO, etc) to select a representative who will serve as a liaison. This representative will gather questions, input and feedback from the school's parent community, bring those topics to the Superintendent's Chats to share, and report back to the school's parent group on a monthly basis. If you are unable to attend a meeting, but have questions or feedback, please reach out to the parent representative at your school.

Meeting Notes

October 11, 2018

Number of parents in attendance at 10:00 a.m. chat: 11
Number of parents in attendance at 6:00 p.m. chat: 8

Designated parent group representatives from each school:
Monroe High School: Kim Cripe
Hidden River Middle School: Deb Seaney
Park Place Middle School: Casey O’Roarty
Salem Woods Elementary: position open
Chain Lake: Hannah Huber
Fryelands Elementary: Rob McMillan
Frank Wagner Elementary: Amber Mehta
Maltby Elementary: Christina Hutto, Derek Wyszynski, Marisa Parker
Leaders in Learning High School: position open
Sky Valley Education Center: position open

*If you are unable to attend a chat and have questions, input, or feedback, please reach out to the parent representative at your school. These parents serve as the communication liaison between families and district staff.

Welcome, introductions & purpose of chats:

  • School Board Community Conversations - quarterly (December, March, June)

  • Input on district-wide decisions

  • Communicate accurate information to families

  • Ask questions, open dialogue

  • Parent reps asked to report back to school communities

Upcoming big topics to address this year:

  • A/B schedule at MHS (set to begin in 2019-20 school year)

  • Changes in local levy & state funding and how that will impact district budgeting

  • Enrollment & capacity: new home construction has not equated to an increase in enrollment

  • Shuttle (transfer) buses

Parent brainstorm of topics to address this year:

  • STAFFING & PARAEDUCATORS

    • Are there any professional learning opportunities for paraeducators?

    • The need for more special education trained paras for push in students

    • Shortage of paraeducators (are we competitive with other districts?)

    • IEP funding & funding for paras for students w/special needs

    • Special education IEP/504

  • SOCIAL EMOTIONAL

    • Brain and trauma informed discipline

    • Mental health seriousness/social emotional needs met

    • Cell phone policies ‘away for the day’ policy?

    • Mental health (before crisis)

    • School climate (all kids feeling of belonging)

    • Social & emotional learning (year long all kids)

    • Possibility of district wide implementation of “PAX Good Behavior Game”?

  • TRANSPORTATION

    • How bus routes are determined (why aren’t Hidden River and Maltby buses taking back roads to school and avoiding 522 traffic?)

    • Long bus rides and being late due to traffic

    • Cost of transportation for JROTC (why do they pay but Sno-Isle students do not?

  • BUDGETING

    • Chain Lake playground equipment

    • How district budget is allocated for playground equipment?

    • School budget more transparent (how money is being spent)

    • New levy for operations?

    • Teacher contract & budget impact

    • Why the MC JROTC Monroe Cadets limited to 20 students?

    • Why is there a continued $335 fee for JROTC students?

  • INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS

    • Digital learning

    • Availability of AP Classes

    • More support for students who are academically advanced so they do not feel that their only option for advancement is Running Start or ORCA.

    • Update on new curriculum in district

    • How will the district accommodate the MCJROTC students w/next year’s changed class schedule?

    • High school A/B days - will that start next year? What will that look like?

    • More college in the high school classes - Monroe has less than surrounding schools?

  • GRADING/ASSESSMENT

    • Grading policy changes at middle school? Future high school?

    • District homework philosophy

    • Encouraging and allowing freshman and sophomores to take the PSAT before their junior year - instead of placing them on a waitlist to potentially be able to take it.

    • i-Ready testing. What? Where? Time for students to take? Too long?

  • SAFETY

    • How is the move/evade/defend training going in schools?

  • SPECIAL EDUCATION

    • Special education support group meetings

    • Interest in implementing district-wide special needs awareness campaigns to foster understanding and improve peer interactions