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Update on Barton Facebook 20.0
Friday, March 18, 2016 10:35 AM


We are in the process of re-envisioning and creating a new Barton Open School Facebook page/group.  

On Wednesday night, a group of parents met to brainstorm the ins and outs of this opportunity to intentionally and thoughtfully recreate our community’s communication via Facebook.  This update reflects parents’ input from our meeting and many emails received:

There is a wide range of perspectives/viewpoints on a new Barton FB presence:

  • As an open school, a FB page should also reflect progressive education, which includes being able to handle conflict resolution.
  • Every effort should be made to work out different viewpoints through conversation, and modeling this for our kids.
  • Posts or comments that cross the line of privacy or gossip are not ok.
  • There is heavy consensus on very little deleting of posts.  Better to go through the sometimes messy process of discussion and model good conflict resolution amongst ourselves.
  • Some parents don’t want the back and forth discussion, but want a reliable resource for activities happening at school.
  • Some parents prefer to keep the parameters of the original group (to protect privacy), whereas other parents would prefer broader parameters, trusting that the conversation will self-monitor.
  • Many working parents relied on the FB site to stay in touch and feel connected to the community.
  • A Barton FB page is democracy in action.
  • The website should still be seen as the No. 1 source of information for Barton.
  • When posting, we should ask ourselves: Is it kind?  Is it true?  Does it advance the conversation? 

Helpful Info.

What is the difference between a FB PAGE and a GROUP?

A PAGE, per Facebook: “Like a friend's profile, Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. Unlike your profile, Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default.” (Posts to a page show up in the newsfeed of anyone who has “liked” the page -- based on Facebook’s algorithm.)

A GROUP, per Facebook: “While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion.”  (Posts to a group automatically show up in the newsfeeds of all members of the group.)

Barton most recently had a public GROUP that was not in any way an official Barton Open School presence, but rather a community conversation about many aspects of Barton.  

We researched and reviewed other SW Minneapolis schools’ various FB pages.  In order to gather lessons learned and best practices, Jonas is going to be in touch with principals at several of these schools, and we have approached several local school parent groups.

Opportunity going forward

The overall view in the community is that we need both an official Barton Open School PAGE, as well as a private parents-only GROUP.

1) PAGE: Clara Barton Open School Minneapolis

  • This will be the official source of school information and a way to publicize and promote events/school needs
  • This will be fully visible to the general public
  • This will be an extension of other communications efforts already in place -- Bugle, website
  • The page will generally be a one-way flow of information -- from the school out to the public at large, with people having the ability to post comments under the page’s posts, as well as leaving “visitor posts.”
  • The page will be managed by school staff, with contributors from the school community (e.g., parent leaders of various events) 

2) GROUP: Clara Barton Open School Parents Group

  • This will be a group similar to what had been in place -- parents-only focus
  • This will be a “closed” group, and thus not visible to the general public
  • It will still be a spot for respectful discussion and an opportunity for conflict resolution
  • The flow of information will be two-way -- on-going conversations between members
  • There will be a group of 5 or more administrators/moderators working as a team
  • There will be a succession plan for the group of administrators/moderators 

Next Steps

  1. The official Clara Barton Open School PAGE has been approved by the school administration, is in progress and will be up by Monday, 3/21.  
  2. We’ll continue to explore our shared values around a FB Parents GROUP.  
  3. To do that, we’ll meet on Wed. 3/23, 7:45 a.m. at Studio 2 (46th & Bryant Ave S.) to finalize these values/operating norms and identify a group of parent administrators/moderators.
  4. The Barton parent GROUP will be up by Thursday, 3/24.
  5. Once these are live, we invite you to share/like/follow/post on each of these sites. 

In closing, please know that you can still view the former Barton Parent FB group page for the time being, but it will likely be taken down soon by FB.  Grab those screen shots while you can!


As always, we welcome your questions, feedback and input.

Kristi Smith Knutson,

Sheila Eldred,

Fiona Pradhan,


P.S. That’s Wed. 3/23, 7:45 a.m at Studio 2 (46th & Bryant Ave S.) to finalize details for the Parent GROUP or email us your thoughts.