SOME DATES/TIMES have changed. SEE BELOW.
Some very interesting conversations and ideas at tonight's public hearing on closures at JSCEE, with plenty of school board members attending and listening.
However, I was struck by how little participants have to say about regional communities -- we all have a perspective on our own school communities; lots of us have views on closure proposals in terms of numbers or anecdotes about others' school communities, but we just aren't talking enough about the larger cluster or regional networks that affect our options, our access, and the quality of education that our kids receive.
Well CPPS (Community & Parents for Public Schools) wants to do that, and we are starting those conversations in Central Seattle, South Seattle, and W. Seattle next week.
It is my experience that the quality and conditions of schools in a region affect one another both directly and indirectly in terms of choice, fundraising, access to teachers, access to advanced learning, diversity, and more. We need to be thinking of closure and school quality (and student assignment) in a much more systemic way, and CPPS believes that parents and community members are the ones to lead these conversations.
We are beginning a series of community conversations that will eventually extend around the city, focused NOT around saving schools, but rather around what we can do in our communities to call for and ensure SPS actions that give parents the quality schools they want.
Monday, Dec. 8th, 7pm at Washington MS library
MONDAY, Dec. 8th, 7pm at Washington MS cafeteria
West Seattle workshop:
Thursday, Dec. 11th, 6:30pm, W. Seattle Elementary School
We are working with the school board directors from these areas to offer a program about thoughtful, community-led problem solving.
Our goals for these meetings are:
-To begin a conversation that goes beyond looking at schools or programs on the list and focuses on how those kids, parents, teachers and programs fit into our community;
-To get people working together across schools to identify parent and community needs, offer solutions, and find resources;
-To help parent voices about educational quality, environment and programs be heard; and
-To begin to address transitional needs of parents and students who will be affected.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are seeking 2-4 participants from each school community for balanced participation. Preschool/neighborhood parents welcome!
We'll keep you posted,
Stephanie and Kerry