Board Of Education and Administration Announce Virtual Community Outreach & Listening Tour

First two events scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 30 and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 31 on the Zoom platform

Graphic with a purple background, using the Johnstown school logo, with the accompanying text "Community Outreach & Listening Tour"

The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Crankshaw, will hold several virtual discussion sessions with the public this year as part of a newly reimagined Community Outreach and Listening Tour. The initiative will kick off with two separate Zoom sessions, both of which will be open to the general public. The first will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 30, and the second will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 31. 

The sessions will give the community a chance to hear directly from the Board of Education and the Superintendent about the current state of the district, including recent decisions by the board, how the district is educating students during COVID-19, the district’s financial outlook and continued advocacy efforts on behalf of the district.

The first two sessions on January 30 and 31 will feature Board President Chris Tallon and BOE members Dave D’Amore and Beverly Alves, along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw and GJSD’s Assistant Superintendent Ruthie Cook. A question and answer session will follow the district’s presentation.

The 2021 Community Outreach campaign is a continuation of an initiative that was launched by the district in the 2019-20 school year, in an effort to open additional lines of communication with community members. Three in-person sessions were held in early 2020, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately resulted in the cancellation of the remaining sessions scheduled for the year.

“We’re picking up where we left off in 2020,” GJSD Board of Education President Chris Tallon said. “These public conversations are meant to be two-way. We want our community to know about all the good work that our district has done in the past 12 months, but we also want to hear their questions and concerns,” he added. “Transparency is key to maintaining trust, and we hope that this initiative helps us to build an even stronger relationship with our community.”

The district also sees the public forums as a way to update the community on some of the more difficult decisions that have been made in recent years, including the decision to close and sell Jansen Avenue School and repurpose both the Knox Building and the former Glebe Street Elementary School.

“It’s only fair that our community gets to hear about the implications of those tough decisions, and it’s only right that those updates come directly from us,” Tallon said.

Dr. William Crankshaw, who became Superintendent of Schools for GJSD in October 2020, emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with the community and said he will utilize the sessions to provide the public with a glimpse at how the district has tackled learning and teaching during COVID-19.

“This is an opportunity for me to give the community a clear idea of what learning and teaching during a pandemic looks like at Johnstown,” Crankshaw said. “This has been a tremendous undertaking, with every single department at GJSD working together as a team and going above and beyond to make sure we all stay safe, while maintaining a high bar for academic excellence.”

“Our building leaders – Scott Hale at the Junior-Senior High School, Bob Kraemer at Warren Street and Cory Cotter at Pleasant Avenue – are some of the most dedicated educators I have ever worked with. In spite of COVID-19, they’ve shown amazing leadership this school year and remain focused on our mission to provide our students with a robust and well-rounded academic experience,” Crankshaw added.

Here is how you can participate in the Community Outreach Listening Tour:

PLEASE NOTE, you must register in advance for the upcoming Zoom sessions on January 30 and 31. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.

Register in advance (required):

Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Register in advance (required):