The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.--Coco Chanel
Something I certainly haven't been able to do with any ease up until
these last two years. Still it is difficult. Especially when public or
private voicings of discontent are viewed in our school community as
whining, retaliatory, or even mean-spirited. As many of you here have
witnessed, there's a tidal wave of emotions related to decisions made by
District that teachers and parents alike believe to not be in line with
the educational mission of our district or best educational practices
based on collective experience and research.
Many of us parents and teachers have been told publicly and privately
that the board does not like to micromanage. While this can be
appreciated on one level, I would still like an explanation as to why
our board refuses to exercise their board authority which states" in all
cases were laws and regulations of the state commissioner of education
do not provide, permit, or prohibit, the board shall consider itself the
agent responsible for establishing and appraising educational matters
On behalf of my fellow parents and colleagues I would like to re-offer
some of the top educational matters and activities that are believed to
be in need of appraising and establishing by our board.
1. Reinvest in the smaller class size model. This investment, is proven
through research and even recommended by the state, especially in
schools of high poverty. Great education dividends should be expected in
the very near future if this were to be established. With such a
fiscally prudent board, I believe it would be clear to you that
investing monies on things like a district app or community education
before taking care of the needs of our most vulnerable students would be
the priority. I can tell you that many of my student's parents still
use trac phones without internet support and would be excluded from
using the resource anyway.
Having 25 students in a fifth grade class such as my own is not the
same as 25 in a primary grade. If it was not possible to reduce
class-size in all grades the primary grades is where this practice
should begin again.
2. We would also like to request that before approving line items such
as instructional consultants or other programs into the budget that all
teachers have been given an opportunity to be made aware of these new
programs and support consultants that are to be purchased. Start with a
teacher led committee then bring it to the table with all teacher's
input. By doing this you will gain important insight and be able to
offer your input before hiring or purchasing programs that will impact
our already financially strained district. This would be an incredible
collaborative opportunity. It is believed that this practice would save
the district thousands of dollars.
3. Since you are responsible for establishing and appraising educational
matters and activities, I would like to appeal to you to please return
the offering of skills classes especially for algebra. I have never
heard a reason for continuing the elimination of the one and a half and 2
yr courses that were meant to support those who struggle and need more
time to master the skills and concepts. If we are to stay true to the
Canajoharie central school vision statement then let's offer all of our
students multiple pathways to success. Based on research, we are in the
minority locally and statewide when it comes to this practice.
I'm looking forward to seeing you all act swiftly on the policy change you're voting on tonight
which is to "carry out the educational mission of the district on
behalf of the resident and the community in matters of education.