Hale Area Association to hold town hall meeting with Hale School Board
Board members will answer questions about the district’s future
By Greg Buckner
Staff Writer | email@example.com
HALE — A town hall meeting where the Hale Area Schools Board of Education has been invited to answer questions from the public is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Plainfield Township Hall.
According to Board President Chad Brandt, the board approached the Hale Area Association last month about making a presentation to local business owners, highlighting the positive aspects of the school, based on some concerns from business owners on the future of the school.
Evolving from that planned presentation, Brandt said the entire board and District Superintendent Ron Kraft have now been invited by the association to attend a town hall meeting.
“The board's intentions have remained the same throughout this entire process,” Brandt said. “That is to share information about the positive educational experience our students are receiving from Hale Area Schools.”
Hale Area Association President Kathy Alward said the purpose of the meeting is not to attack the school board, but to keep the public informed on what is happening at the school.
“We thought it’d be good to have an old fashioned town hall meeting,” Alward said. “This meeting is to inform the public of the board’s vision.”
Alward said people will be able to ask the board questions during the meeting.
Currently, Brandt said he can confidently confirm that at least two board members are planning to attend the meeting, but he is not sure if any other members will be able to make it.
With Hale being a smaller community, Alward said the success of the school is vital to community, which she said is why the meeting is being held.
“We’re a small community and the school is crucial to the success of our area,” Alward said. “That school is our crown jewel. Our number one priority is to make sure the school is successful because if we’re trying to promote our area, the school is one of the first things people will look at when coming to our area.”
Brandt said while the present board members will answer questions at the town hall meeting, he encouraged people to come to the school board’s monthly meetings, including the regular board meeting the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at the school, if they want to keep up on happenings at the district.
“We already have a minimum of two posted public meetings per month hosted at the school where the public is welcome to attend, in addition to the other civic presentations that our board has been recently conducting,” Brandt said.
One of the larger concerns Alward said community members have is the district’s financial status, as the district has been trying to climb out of debt for the last few years.
“I think it’s no secret that we’re struggling financially,” Alward said. “We just want to make people aware of what is going on in our district.”
The board received the results of its 2011-12 audit at a September board meeting, with the audit showing the district cutting its deficit from $753,000 to $257,000 during the last school year.
“We’re all behind the school,” Alward said. “What’s best for them is what’s best for us.”
For more information, visit www.haleyes.org or call Alward at 989-728-2525.