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Be Kind, but be Candid

May 20, 2012

As the Superintendent, one of my biggest responsibilities is communication.  This means communicating to students, staff and the community, as well as making sure all staff are also communicating important information.  This responsibility grows even more important when we are faced with major changes.  As we develop the budget for next year, in the face of great uncertainty about revenues and expenses, we need to communicate effectively.

The issues are complex – pension reform, open contracts, student enrollment, and staffing levels all come into the equation.  Communicating information that many will see as bad news is never easy.  However, the ramifications of not communicating about the issue or waiting to communicate when there is little time to react is a recipe for fear and distrust.  The situations reminds me of the saying “Be Kind, but be Candid.”  Sharing the news in the right way is important, but doing it in a clear manner is equally important.  Hiding difficult realities is never a good decision.

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