"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

9-13-10 Board Meeting Update

As I was afraid of, I had a conflict on Monday night and couldn't attend the board meeting. Since I wasn't there for a blow by blow account, this will be short. My contact says the meeting went well, ending about 9pm. They added a new GT person at the high school and a new resource teacher at TRIS with their stimulus funds.

I asked about the ACT scores discussion, and I sort of predicted Heidi's call that ACT data was promising as compared to the state scores. I already posted about that previously and you can decide if you agree with her assessment (see post on August 31st). She was particularly pleased with the increase in the percent of students taking the test to 66.4%. This statistic has gradually increased from about 59% five years ago to nearly two-thirds today. This is good news and places us 2nd out of 6 in our conference on percentage of students taking the test compared to third in our conference on actual results. The school taking third in participation rate did so with 66.2% participation, so it's not as if they had a big step down in number of kids taking the test showing only "the cream of the crop" took the test or something like that.

One hotter topic that came back up at this board meeting was mentioned over the summer. The middle school kids are acting up at the football games. I knew this was considered an issue because Mr. Everson broached the topic in July, I think. Because of his concerns, I wouldn't let my middle schooler attend the first game without a parent. The problem is not just kids whose parents drop them off to watch the game. Even responsible parents who accompany their middle-schoolers to the game get ditched by their kids, who then seek novel ways to cause mischief (to put it kindly). So a word to the wise parents: Make your kid stay in your sight at all time or don't take them to the game with you. Kids who don't come into the stadium or leave the stadium after a short time are causing grief outside of the stadium. I don't know what the answers are, but one of them might be "loitering" tickets on school property, or something like that. I hope it improves over time.

The Annual Meeting and the September Meetings of the whole are still planned for September 27 beginning at 5:30 with the Meetings of the Whole, breaking to the Annual Meeting at 7pm and continuing, if needed with the meetings of the whole after the annual meeting.
Sorry about missing the meeting last Monday, but duty called. This is the most exciting perk about getting my tail whupped in the election. The meetings are optional and I don't have to stay for the parts I don't like if I don't want to!

I plan to attend the annual meeting, if not the meetings of the whole. I'd love to see a huge turnout for this meeting. I'm 99% sure that establishment of Fund 80 in support of the Youth Center will be placed on the agenda at the meeting. I will make a statement against establishing Fund 80 in support of the youth center at that time. Since I think those in favor of this Fund 80 establishment will "stack the deck" in attendance, I'd like to see an equal turnout of those not in favor of this idea to rebut the remarks of those in favor. The discussion will be better balanced that way. I want to make it perfectly clear that my opposition to establishment of Fund 80 is not an opposition to the Youth Center. I just don't like how the city has played their hand here and believe a little push back by the school is called for at this time.

More later...


Anonymous said...

This school board sure likes to get the cops involved! Loitering tickets come on! There Kids provide them with something to do if you have an issue with them hanging out. Oh wait maybe if there not hanging out at the football games they can break into cars and house while all the parents are at the game!

Katy said...

Thank you for your comment. I didn't know what the plans were, but suggested it could be an option if the little hooligans kept it up. The parents of some of these kids are the first ones who would seek to sue the school district if their precious little delinquent got injured from misbehaving at the game. Below, please see the letter (hot off the presses) sent out to middle school parents with regard to this issue:

Dear Parents/Attention Students,

Due to safety concerns arising from students running around and playing unsafely during football games, we have added special student seating in the south end zone. Any student is welcome to sit in the appropriate section. One will be reserved for middle school students and the other for elementary students. Students who misbehave will be required to leave the game or sit in an assigned bleacher seat. We hope this makes the game more enjoyable for everyone. Additional family and community seating will also be set up on either side of the main bleachers. Parents with young children are encouraged to use this seating to avoid young children running in and out of the bleachers and sitting with their legs and bodies in the aisles. Thanks for helping us make our games safer and using appropriate public behavior. Our chaperones will be glad to help direct you to the seating if you need any assistance.

Heidi J. Carvin
District Administrator

This seems to be a good compromise solution for everybody.

Katy said...

Oh, and for the record, the problem kids are not "hanging out" at the game. They are running around, acting disrespectfully, chasing up and down bleachers and causing general havoc. There wouldn't be an issue if they were "hanging out" respectfully with their buddies.

Anonymous said...

Since when is walking around misbehaving?

Katy said...

I don't know if you are the same anonymous as the first one, but please refer to the comment two prior to yours in which the problem is defined and the solution is tendered by the district administrator. The ones causing trouble are not simply walking around. They are dangerously ramming around on bleachers, causing trip hazards in bleachers, being disrespectful and other inappropriate behaviors. Like in all of life, if you are violating the rules, you must pay the penalties. In this case, they will either have to sit down or be ejected from the game if they are found to be behaving disruptively or dangerously at the football games. I figure this is enough to post on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Looks like its time for Heidi and this Everson guy to go! I hear nothing but bad stuff about both of them!

Katy said...

Thank you for your comment, Anonymous #3. I don't agree with your assessment on Mr. Everson. He is willing to take on controversial issues that have been simmering, sometimes for years. I may not agree with all of his solutions, but I agree that ignoring an issue will not make it disappear. I applaud his willingness to tackle difficult, complex problems that fester and ultimately undermine the effectiveness of the school district.

I have often criticized Ms. Carvin in this forum. When I think it is serious enough, I forward issues to board members. They are her boss. If you have specific issues, I urge you to respectfully summarize your issues in an email or by phone to Mr. Pierick, the board president.

Any complaints regarding administrators should first be addressed with the person in question. If you are not satisfied with the result of your interaction, contact Ms. Carvin, their boss. Your last resort in the case of administrators other than Ms. Carvin should be the School Board. As with many government institutions, school districts love the structure imposed by the chain of command. They prefer you follow it at all times. Your chance of success increases with strict adherance to this chain of command.