One of the most extraordinary realizations from Wednesday's joint meeting of the respective boards of United Way of Dane County and the Madison Metropolitan School District is how many of them have never met each other.
The meeting was co-chaired by School Board president James Howard and United Way board chair Gary Walter, flanked by Superintendent Dan Nerad and United Way president Leslie Ann Howard, with a goal of strengthening their partnership to eliminate the achievement gap in Madison schools.
Mission accomplished. Working side by side business leaders and elected board members set goals and priorities. The sense of shared commitment in the room was palpable.
But that commitment will only benefit from on-going, face-to-face communication between school board members, administrators and community leaders.
The really hard decisions are ahead of us in the next few months. Trust and community partnerships are required to make them.