Community meeting

Grand Island Public Schools Hold First Community Meeting

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – Grand Island Public Schools held the first of two community meetings scheduled for Wednesday noon in College Park.

Surprisingly to some, the format of the community meetings was a series of roundtables in the College Park Multipurpose Hall.

“The format was totally different from what I expected,” said Andy Gudgel, who attended the event. “I was expecting it to be a question and answer period directed perhaps to the school board.”

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

“I will say that Grand Island public school teachers are leaving because they are unhappy with what is happening in Grand Island public schools,” Gudgel told Local4 News.

The district announced the meetings after the April 14 firing of men’s soccer coach Jeremy Jensen. The district accused Jensen of leaking confidential information from a district survey of students. Jensen had posted footage of the investigation on Facebook. The footage depicted a negative culture in the district and told of teachers leaving the district at an alarming rate.

The meetings were presented as “Impact and Insight for the GIPS Forum”. A second meeting at the multipurpose hall in the Parc du Collège is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.

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