Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District (SAU 47)

Semester: 2019 Fall

Students: Oliver Booth, Marla Blum, and Agnieszka Regiec

The Jaffrey-Rindge Cooperative School District (SAU 47) serves two rural New Hampshire towns with a combined population of approximately 11,000 and four district schools. This project with the Harvard Dispute Systems Design Clinic will be working with both the School District Administration and the Jaffrey-Rindge Educations Association (JREA), a collective bargaining unit representing all the teaching professionals in the district.

The working relationship between school administration and the JREA is influenced by three sources: 1) an agreement between the School Board and the JREA (CBA); a Strategic Design created in the fall of 2017 by parents, community members, staff, and students; and school-specific and district-wide policies crafted by the administration to further the goals of the contract and the Strategic Design. These three sources create a complex framework and are subject to varying perspectives and interpretations.

DSD Clinic students will work with to develop a process for stakeholders in both of these groups to proactively engage with each other to develop and implement school and district policies, as well as collaboratively address disputes that arise in the development and implementation of such policies

Activities & Deliverables

  • Focus group discussions or interviews with employees, union representatives and administrators;
  • Research on best practices for internal communication within public school systems, as well as processes for addressing and resolving disputes between administrators and teachers’ unions in public school systems;
  • A final report which includes:
    • An assessment of current practices and/or concerns among the stakeholders;
    • Recommendations on a process for communicating about proposed school and district policies
    • Recommendations on a process to address disputes that arise in the development and implementation of these policies;
    • Recommendation on how to improve internal communications;
    • A presentation to representative stakeholders regarding the process and outcomes of the project
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