MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – In their continuing efforts to regain the city’s trust and engage the community positively, the Mount Vernon Board of Education will host monthly weekend meetings to discuss the issues facing the district and city.
Beginning on Oct. 18 with a multi-cultural awareness conference, the board will welcome students, parents, and community members to face firsthand the issues plaguing Mount Vernon.
School Board President Elias Gootzeit said the conferences provide the district a unique chance to interact with the community and discuss issues they face daily.
“These conferences are an opportunity to engage our community and begin important conversations that will address some of the social inequalities that students and residents of Mount Vernon experience in their day-to-day lives,” he said in a statement announcing the initiative.
Since being announced as the permanent successor to Interim Superintendent Judith Johnson earlier this year, Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton has been keen to improve relations between the much-maligned district and a beleaguered community .
“It is my belief that children must always come first. This has been my mantra during the course of my career, and I will continue to make this our priority,” he said. “In order to make this mantra a reality and common practice, it will require the entire community embrace the dawning of a new day and forge ahead to improve the conditions that compromise student success and reverse patterns that perpetuate underachievement.”
The midday conferences will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. once a month at the Longfellow Elementary School Auditorium, 625 S. 4th Ave. The full schedule of Saturday conferences is listed below:
- Oct. 18 : “Multi-Cultural Awareness Conference: ‘Reparations for Mount Vernon.’ and discussion of renaming the Longfellow campus for Benjamin and Rebecca Turner.”
- Nov. 8 : “School district independent audit report of the Audit Committee and the kick off of the budget process.”
- Dec. 20 : “Second annual school district funding fairness conference.”
- Jan. 17 : “De-criminalizing parenting behavior.”
- Feb. 28 : “Should legal resident aliens have a right to vote in Mount Vernon School District elections?”
- March 14 : “Dr. Seuss Birthday: ‘Horton Hears a Who?’ Reader’s Theatre.”
- April 18 : “Budget presentation.”
- May 16 : “Budget presentation and school board debate,” which will be chaired by the PTA Council.
- June 19 : “Who owns the public schools?”
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