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Forest Park District 91 Board of Education members have reinstated a community engagement committee after an approximately three-year hiatus, and will be hold a series of events and office hours for community members to engage with the board, starting with Engage Café, a meet-and-greet, discussion session that will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 at Betsy Ross Primary Elementary School, 1315 Marengo Ave. 

“It became clear from our community members that they wanted us to be better about being in the community, and being out there, and meeting with people, so that’s why we resurrected the community engagement committee,” said board member Kyra Tyler. 

Tyler joins board member Christina Ricordati in running the committee. Come January, the District 91 Board of Education will hold monthly “office hours,” where parents, students, community members and more can meet with two members of the board to talk about what’s on their mind. 

Childcare will be provided at the office hours, courtesy of the school’s parent groups and the National Junior Honor Society student group. The first office hours are scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2019 at a location to be determined. 

“The board meeting is not the venue for people to interact with board members,” Ricordati said. “They obviously have the opportunity to sort of say their piece, but it’s not interactive, we’re not responding, that’s just not what it is. People wanted to use it as that and so we needed to create another way for people to do that.”  

But before the new year, the District 91 board is focusing on Engage Café, which Superintendent Louis Cavallo and Assistant Superintendent Ed Brophy will also attend. 

The board and administration will also host “Chilly Chili Night” during the annual Holiday Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the parking lot of the District 91 administrative office, 424 Desplaines Ave. 

“I’m sure people are going to have questions and want to discuss things are not actually board-related — they’re much more administration-related, so we may pull them in to ask for those questions,” Ricordati said.

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