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ANeSU works on improving relationships in the school system

BRISTOL — Some members of the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union community held three days of meetings just before Thanksgiving as part of the effort to restore a rift among the administrative staff, education staff and school boards.
On Nov. 20-22, twenty-seven representatives from ANeSU and the Addison Northeast Education Association (the teachers union, also known as ANEDA) met and participated in a “Relationship by Objectives” training program conducted by the federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. 
Representatives of those participating said after the meetings that they had “embarked on a course to improve our working environments and to develop a better relationship between school boards, school and central office administration and staff.”
Among those at the Relationship by Objectives training were Assistant Superintendent Catrina DiNapoli, ANeSU board chair Dawn Griswold and  ANEDA President Mikaela Frank. In a joint email to the Independent, the three of them said the 27 participants in the RBO program worked together to strengthen communication, practice listening skills and apply problem-solving strategies to resolve and improve their working relationships.
“We are motivated to move this work forward to positively impact our entire organization,” they said in the email. “We are confident that our commitment will support the amazing work that we all do every day for the learners of our 5-town community.”
A federal mediator in September recommended that then-Superintendent David Adams and the teachers in the ANeSU schools take part in training to warm up the cool relationship between the parties. Educator and support staff contracts expired this past June and those employees continue to work without a contract; Adams went on leave sometime this fall and former state Education Secretary Armando Vilaseca is due to begin working as interim superintendent this week.

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