Q+A with Mr. Payne – recap

Elsa Block

On Friday, Dec. 9, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) held a question and answer session with Principal Barnaby Payne. There were a lot of parents and PTSA board members in attendance wanting to discuss current school topics and ask questions. Carl Krawitt, parent to two students in the district, felt fortunate to be in attendance and was eager to ask Payne questions. 

“As a parent, I feel privileged that we have the opportunity to get information in small group settings from administrators and the principal, and even to learn things about the school that we otherwise would not have known. I think that the sharing of ideas helps us make Redwood a better place,” Krawitt said. 

A variety of topics were discussed amongst parents and Payne, such as active shooter protocol, class sizes and the levels of support within a classroom for students. For Payne, talking about ways students are supported in classrooms was very important. 

Starting off the meeting, principal Barnaby Payne introduces himself and the purpose of the Dec. 9th PTSA meeting.

“I really did want to talk about the idea of multi-tiered systems of support. In other words, it shows what teachers have been working on during our professional learning time, because the focus really has been on how we best support the students sitting in front of us in our classes every day,” Payne said. “How do we meet the needs of our unique Redwood students? To me, that’s the best conversation we can be having.”  

These support systems include different strategies and academic accommodations that are offered to students from their teachers. There are different levels of support for students, ranging from academic, to social-emotional, to behavioral support. The levels vary from one to three, one being offered to all students to three being to a more specific group of students. 

The group of parents present asked many questions, wanting to understand how they could learn about what things are best for their children’s education. For Krawitt, learning about improving the school was vital.

“I came to this meeting with the intention of listening and learning. A vast majority of the participants came to ask questions and learn about how we can make the school better for our children,” Krawitt said. 

The board meetings are also important to Payne as they build relationships among different members of the school community.  

While a question is being asked by a parent, principal Barnaby Payne intently listens.

“I view these meetings as just one small piece of a parent communication and collaboration strategy. Once every couple of months, I meet very closely with the PTSA board and parents that are on the school site council, and I get to develop lots of relationships with individual parents,” Payne said. 

The PTSA will reconvene for a general meeting on Feb. 7, 2023 in the Kreps conference hall from 8:30-10:00 a.m.