Pre-pandemic, when a decision was made to move Sonoma Valley Unified School District board meetings from centrally located Sonoma City Council Chambers to the Railroad Avenue district offices, there was a major drop off in family attendance. For those of us attending district board meetings consistently, it appeared the decline in attendance was around 70%. The change in location takes more time, and is more difficult for busy Sonoma families to attend.
SVUSD’s board is exploring changes that will change the entire town. Impact of these decisions: hundreds of children will be uprooted from their schools, teachers and administration are uncertain if they have jobs, years of construction traffic, permanent changes in traffic patterns, increases in population density. These meetings should be held in centrally located City Chambers to allow more of Sonoma’s public to hear what is taking place. For those needing translation to hear and see it when it is happening, in person.
Obviously the Railroad Avenue meeting room is completely inadequate to handle recent overflow crowds. Standing room only out into the hallway. Not everyone has the wherewithal to attend virtually.
Please move SVUSD board meetings back to City Chambers so that families whose lives will be directly affected by district decisions can be involved in meetings without standing in a hallway not seeing yet trying to hear what is happening. They are all investors in Sonoma’s schools and children. Every one of them has the right to directly observe what the school board is doing.
— Stewart Saunders, Sonoma