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Mt. Abe seeks community input on budget, facilities

BRISTOL — The Mount Abraham Unified School District (MAUSD) is looking for at least 50 people to participate in the next phase of its community engagement plan.
“We hope that you will be willing to have one-on-one conversations with 5 (or more!) community members from your respective towns,” wrote Krista Siringo, chair of MAUSD’s Community Engagement Committee, in a recent announcement.
The committee hopes to foster at least 250 such conversations between May 1 and June 15.
Conversational goals include gathering feedback about the MAUSD, communicating the district’s goal of improving and sustaining community engagement, spreading the word about upcoming Community Conversations in the fall and discussing the top priorities identified by the community in a March 16 community engagement workshop. Those priorities include:
•facilities and buildings.
•participatory budgeting.
•communication pathways and feedback loops.
•school-based councils.
•policy governance reform.
Residents will also be invited to add other topics they feel it’s important for the school district to consider.
The Community Engagement Committee has designed an interview format for the conversations and will provide volunteer interviewers with questions that were developed with input from Mount Abraham Student Activism, school district leaders and professional facilitator Sue McCormack, who led the March 16 workshop.
Sample questions include:
•What word most closely describes your feelings towards the Mount Abraham Unified School District?
•In general, how do you think things are going in the 5-Town district?
•Give an example of something that you think is going well at the school that you attend or are most familiar with.
•Give an example of something that isn’t going well, or that you wish could be different.
Each interview should take 10 to 15 minutes, Siringo estimated.
Diversity is integral to the campaign’s success, she explained.
“Your job is to interview at least five people of varying background, age, town residence and connection to our schools.”
Those interested in conducting interviews should email [email protected] and provide a postal mailing address where the Community Engagement Committee can send information and instructions.
“Please consider taking up this challenge to interview at least 5 people this spring,” she wrote. “It’s a great time of year to reconnect with your community after the winter hibernation!”
Reach Christopher Ross at [email protected].

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