RBHS student-administrator session fizzles

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By Bob Skolnik

Contributing Reporter

The administration of Riverside-Brookfield High School held a question and answer session for students late in the school year but only five students showed up.

The meeting, held on May 16 at 7:30 a.m., wasn't announced until the day before on the morning announcements.

"Nobody really listens to the announcements," said senior Rosie Nolan who, along with her brother, was one of the five students who attended.

The question-and-answer session was also mentioned during lunch on the day before the meeting, but Nolan said that the noise in the cafeteria during lunch makes it difficult to hear announcements made there.

Students were required to submit written questions in advance and had to be present to have their questions answered. The meeting reportedly lasted about 15 minutes.

"The people there were already informed and knew what was going on," Nolan said. "It would have been nice if people had gone, but people just didn't go."

The idea for a student town hall or question-and-answer sessions with administrators came out of discussions held between administrators and student protest leaders in the wake of a sit-in after the school board voted not to rehire social studies teacher Jill Musil in March.

The administrators who attended the meeting included Principal Kristin Smetana, assistant principals Kylie Gregor and Dave Mannon and Dean of Students Dave Sibley. 

Nolan said administrators were frustrated that so few students showed up. 

"They talked to us about how it was frustrating that no one showed up and we agree," Nolan said. "It's on them more than us."

Smetana confirmed that the school would not hold anymore question-and-answer sessions due to the low turn out. However, school administrators will continue to work with the Student Association and Student Advisory Board, which was created this past school year, "to provide ways for students to continue to ask questions about school related issues," Smetana said.

"We also stressed to the students in attendance that our door is always open and any student can schedule a meeting with any administrator throughout the school year to discuss any questions or concerns he or she may have," Smetana said.

This story has been updated to include comments from RBHS Principal Kirsten Smetana.

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