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School board schedule debated

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:22 PM

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Those who find themselves too tired or too busy to attend the nightly school board meetings might have the opportunity to sit in on those public gatherings during the afternoon instead.

The public is slated to be surveyed on their interest in the school board hosting its meetings sometime in the afternoon rather than at 7 p.m. every other Tuesday throughout the year.

The idea came about after school board member Cynthia Moore expressed interest in researching the matter prior to a vote on the group's meeting schedule primarily for next year while they happened to be hosting an early afternoon meeting.

Typically, the board hosts a workshop in the afternoon prior to their regular meetings later that same evening.

"It would be much more convenient in my opinion," Moore said of the earlier meeting time.

Superintendent Bryan Blavatt said he hasn't researched the matter, but found the idea interesting and worth surveying the public, employees and parent groups.

The board is the only local government group to host an afternoon workshop followed by a meeting later that same night. Brooksville city council holds their meetings at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays while county commissioners typically hold their public meetings on various Tuesday mornings leading into the afternoon.

School board member Dianne Bonfield advised that one reason the board holds evening meetings is that many of those who work likely find it difficult to attend afternoon meetings — adding that parents and students would be unable to attend.

"I'm not averse to having our meetings during the day, but we don't want to exclude folks who work," Bonfield said. "And we do hold our workshops during the day."

But school board student representative Sean Chapman offered the idea that sparked the most interest from Blavatt — simply hold afternoon meetings during the summer.

"Makes all the sense in the world to me," Blavatt said. "We'll do a survey to give the community a say and whether they would like for us to do this." (352) 544-5271

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