Thursday, December 3, 2009

"One meeting"

From the PG:

In a welcome step, the district's panel will observe the open panel today at 4:00. The open panel is expected to evolve into a task force and culminate in a report to the district and the community.


anon1 said...

If students have not already been invited to join either panel there is still time to do so. The same is true of teachers who would likely have a lot to contribute and who will have to live with decisions made on a level beyond what the administration and other responsible adults will endure.

As far as identification of members, rather than names I would much rather see qualifications. For example: "Member A parent of three PPS students one gifted, one receiving learning support w/full inclusion, one in mainstream, none in extracurricular activities, ..." I would be disappointed to see a panel comprised of all CAS/AP parents and hope enough could be done to prevent it. Another thing to take a look at is the possibility of uniforms. Waiting until new configurations are established to allow parents to vote on the topic should not be necessary. I am sorry to say Mrs. Colaizzi's objections to uniforms is all wet and has gotten old. Can't somebody convince her it is okay to lose a battle once in a while? I may have a faulty memory but I believe Mr. Brentley and Mrs. Colaizzi are in the same camp on the subject. You need only to watch the Excellence for All TV show and see the poise students in uniform project to know it is a good idea. Isn't there some data on the value somewhere?

A generation from now we may see the most successful schools are east end schools. If that is to happen it will require more than what any school district can provide.

Questioner said...

Come one, come all- students and parents are welcome at the open panel meeting today at 4:00!

It does seem though that it is difficult for students to carve out time for an extended commitment. Students were asked to be on the facilities committee and most came to maybe one meeting. When we have topics set, perhaps students can attend the meeting on the topic that is most important to them.

Annette Werner said...

aThe meeting on east end schools went well.

After a greeting and introduction, Mark Brentley explained that the "open panel on east end schools" will constitute a task force to study issues and produce a set of recommendations to the superintendent and the community.

As background, Randall Taylor gave a history of schools in the east end and suggested another look at the East End plan developed in 2005.

Issues the task force will study were discussed next. Topics will include the same topics on the district's agenda: a full service school model, school configuration, year round school/ extended day, enhanced educational opportunity, and timing of the transformation of east end schools. The open panel will expand on these topics to discuss means other than full service schools for delivering necessary social services, and as part of school configuration to discuss opportunities for sports and extracurricular activities.

Additional topics for study not on the district's initial agenda were also proposed, including Schenley (updating renovation figures and seeking an independent evaluation of Schenley versus Miller/ McKelvey); diversity; special ed; revisiting and evaluating the 2005 right sizing plan; issues of equity and disruption arising from school closings; issues arising from crossing neighborhood lines; alignment of curriculum; review of comments from facilities meetings particularly 5-12 configurations in a comprehensive school setting; criteria for closings; schools that seem to be "off the table" for discussion; school choice; and magnet schools' policies for dismissing students.

Recognizing that most people cannot commit to numerous meetings, the open task force will develop a schedule for the discussion of each of these topics in a convenient location so that parents, students and members of the community can attend meetings on the topics that interest them most. The task force will also review the same materials presented to the district's panel, and through school board member Mark Brentley will request from the district any additional information needed.

The open panel hopes to meet at a later date with the district panel and to reach a consensus with the district panel on as many topics as possible.

Annette Werner said...

Sorry, there is a typo, 5-12 above should be 6-12.

Questioner said...

PG article "Board members hope to collaborate on east end schools":

anon1 said...

Thanks for being so thorough in the summary.

Mark Rauterkus said...

Did the option of single gender schools surface? What about single gender classrooms?

Annette Werner said...

Oops, that should have been included on the list of topics on the district panel's agenda, which our task force will also be considering. Yesterday's meeting was mainly to define what issues we would address and how we would go about doing that. One of our meetings will be devoted in whole or in part to single gender education. We will first do a roundup of relevant studies so please let me know of any you feel are important. Apparently Westinghouse has already started some single gender classes for its 9th grade so it will be helpful to see how those are going.

Also worth considering is whether, if Westinghouse is set aside for single gender classrooms or academies, it makes sense for that to be the feeder/fallback school for large portions of the east end.