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Grand Island Public Schools holds first community meeting

Format is separate round-table discussions
Grand Island Public Schools held the first of two scheduled community meetings over the noon hour Wednesday at College Park.
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 9:34 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Grand Island Public Schools held the first of two scheduled community meetings over the noon hour Wednesday at College Park.

In what was a surprise to some, the format of the community meetings was a set of round table discussions in the multi-purpose room at College Park.

“The format was totally different than what I expected it to be,” Andy Gudgel who attended the event said. “I expected it to be a question and answer time directed at maybe the school board.”

Each table was set up to discuss a single topic moderated by a facilitator. Much of the discussion was designed to address teacher retention and recruiting. There was also discussion about how to support young teachers in the district and the impact of the pandemic on mental health of students and staff.

“I will say teachers in the Grand Island Public Schools are leaving because they are dissatisfied with what is happening in the Grand Island Public Schools,” Gudgel told Local4 News.

The district announced the meetings after the April 14 firing of boys soccer coach Jeremy Jensen. The district accused Jensen of releasing confidential information from a district survey of students. Jensen had posted images from the survey on Facebook. The images depicted a negative culture in the district and relayed that teachers were leaving the district at an alarming rate.

The meetings were billed as “Impact and Insight for GIPS Forum.” A second meeting at the College Park multi-purpose room is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.

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