New Philadelphia, Ohio - As part of its long-standing commitment to engaging in open and meaningful dialogue with parents and members of the community, the New Philadelphia school district will be hosting two different public forums throughout the school year. 

Coffee Chats are scheduled for the fourth Tuesday of each month and will offer community members an opportunity to discuss the district and its future with Superintendent David Brand. 

Brand says the forum will be offered on a rotating schedule so that everyone who wishes to participate has an opportunity to do so.

“It’s kind of on a rotation of time, like a morning, an early afternoon and then an evening time,  just trying to work around anyone’s schedule to just have that open dialogue and have those real conversations about the district,” he says.

The next Coffee Chat will be this Tuesday, September 25, from 1 to 2 p.m. Other dates and times for this year include October 30 from 7 to 8 p.m., November 27 from 8 to 9 a.m., and December 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. The monthly forum will resume again after the holiday break with events scheduled for January 29 from 7 to 8 p.m., February 26 from 8 to 9 a.m., March 26 from 1 to 2 p.m., April 30 from 7 to 8 p.m., and May 28 from 8 to 9 p.m.

In addition to the Coffee Chats, the district will also be hosting a Town Hall meeting each month at one of the district’s school buildings, giving parents and community members even more opportunities to learn about the district and have their voices heard.

“They’re to really try to engage the community, to offer more opportunities for them to be able to ask us questions but also to see our facilities and see the great things and hear about the great things that are happening throughout the district,” Brand explains.

Brand says each Town Hall will be held prior to a Board of Education work session and will open with updates on the district as a whole and the building where the meeting is being held. Following the updates, the meeting will be opened up to questions and comments from the public. 

Brand notes that in addition to himself, the building principal and members of the district’s board of education, other building principals and administrators will also be on hand to answer any questions.

“If maybe I don’t know the answer, maybe Julie Erwin, our treasurer, would or one of the other great people we have there to answer the community’s questions,” he says.  

The first Town Hall meeting for the year was held last month at West Elementary. The next meeting will be on Monday, October 1, beginning at 7 p.m. at York Elementary.

Additional Town Halls scheduled for the 2018-2019 school year include November 5 at New Philadelphia High School, December 3 at Central Elementary, March 4 at South Elementary, April 1 at Welty Middle School and May 6 at East Elementary.

All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public, and individuals do not need to have a child enrolled at the building where the meeting is being held in order to attend. 

“Any community member is welcome to attend any and all of them, and again, it’s just dialogue so we can share what’s going on and answer any questions the community might have or share their ideas,” Brand says.

Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV

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