School facilities listening and board work session now community meeting
- Published: March 14, 2023
YS Schools announced late Monday, March 13, that the listening session/board work session scheduled for Thursday, March 16, has been canceled.
The district later clarified that, in place of the listening session, a community meeting about school facilities, led by YS Village Mediation, will be held at the same time and location: 6–9 p.m., in the Mills Lawn gym.
According to communication from the district, members of the Board of Education will not be present in their board roles in order to allow community members to express their values in an open forum; any board members who do attend the meeting will be present as members of the community.
On Thursday afternoon, the News received the following clarifying information from Diane Diller of the Village Mediation Program.
“The school board is no longer sponsoring a Listening Session, Thurs., March 16, as they were advised by their legal counsel that to do so could be seen as a violation of Ohio House Bill 140. The Village Mediation Program has decided to hold the event under their own banner, with funding provided by a Peacekeeper Grant from the YS Community Foundation. It is no longer a Board Meeting, but a Community Meeting we are calling Village Cafe.
“As a result, we have changed the content and purpose of the meeting. Rather than focus on the “solutions” (the options for addressing the school facilities and the contentions therein), we are taking a step back and using this gathering as an opportunity to reconnect as a community. Our goal is to create an open-hearted and multi-partial space where villagers can express themselves and listen to each other– which a process called World Cafe supports so beautifully. The thoughts shared by participants at this event will be provided to the school board, as they will not be at this meeting.
“Those wanting more information about the YS school facilities are invited to visit ysschools.org/facilities.”