Schools To Host First Community Chat

POCOMOKE CITY – Principals at three Pocomoke schools will host their first Community Chat next week.

Pocomoke High School Principal Annette Wallace, Pocomoke Middle School Principal Matthew Record and Pocomoke Elementary School Principal Michael Browne will be at XO Beanery & Bites on Aug. 16 from 9-11 a.m. to meet with parents, community members and local businesses interested in voicing concerns, questions and suggestions to the schools’ leaders.

Wallace explained school principals will be spearheading the talks in an effort to bolster community involvement.

“We want to work together a lot, really closely, and bring our community together,” she said.

Wallace said the Community Chat will be the first in a series of public participation events held in Pocomoke.

“We are going to try and do this at least four times a year,” she said, “but most likely we’ll probably end up doing it every other month at XO.”

Wallace said the talks will help school officials to gather information from not only parents and students, but from community members and small business owners, who often hire Pocomoke graduates after high school and college.

“We want to know from them what kind of skill sets they need from our kids because a lot of our kids do stay local,” she said. “It’s important for us to hear from them because they are stakeholders and they are a big part of whether our schools are successful or not.”

Wallace said she originally heard of the idea through social media and decided to implement a similar event for Pocomoke area schools. She explained that Pocomoke schools often heard from the community’s parents and students at annual meetings, but noted a decline in public participation from other area residents.

“Those haven’t been real successful in the past few years,” she said.

Wallace explained the Community Chat would help school leaders to reach out to the community in a community setting.

“This is the first step in us listening to the community,” she said. “It’s important for community members to know that school leaders are listening to them.”

Wallace said community input from the meeting would be brought back to the Pocomoke leadership team, school improvement teams, teachers, administration and the like.

“We really just want to get out there and hear from our community, good, bad, the beautiful, the ugly,” she said.
“We want to hear everything that there is to say because we want to make the schools as good as we possibly can.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.