SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for January 2009

Jefferson Elementary: More clear speaking concerning small schools

Community input and ideas from the meeting at Thomas Jefferson Elementary:

  • Add more services to the community rather than remove school services.
  • Our students need music and art or they leave for other options.
  • Add a home school support program.
  • Increase preschool capacity.
  • Increase district services to hospital bound children.
  • Relationships across generations are a part of the value of small schools
  • The value of parent involvement and community support needs to be in the matrix.
  • Consider reducing split grades by enrolling just resident students.
  • This neighborhood has been promised a junior high for 40 years.
  • Annual discussions about closing small schools lowers enrollment
  • Many parents have serious concerns about Kit Carson Junior High.
  • Teachers find split grade teaching a recipe for burnout.
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Written by scusdobserver

January 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Special Board Meeting Thursday Night

6:00 p.m.
Agenda

  • Superintendent Search
  • Budget Strategies
  • Community Engagement Meetings Update

Written by scusdobserver

January 29, 2009 at 9:51 pm

CGNA proposes a two-part action at Thomas Jefferson Elem. meeting

What follows is a summary of the College Glen Neighborhood Association‘s proposal for SCUSD school consolidation/closure in east study area:

Toddler/Pre-School and 7th, 8th & 9th grade program

The Association proposes a two-part action:

1) Combine the Bancroft and Jefferson elementary school attendance areas, and modify one of the existing elementary school facilities to accommodate a k-6 and 4th R before and after school programs for younger students.

2) Modify the other elementary school facility to accommodate a full service toddler/preschool, 7th, 8th, & 9th grade junior high school, with a before and after school 4th R program intended to provide programs and activities for junior high age students. The service areas for the toddler/pre-school and 4th R programs at both locations service the District without any designated attendance areas. The boundaries for the junior high school will equal the combined current elementary school boundaries for Hubert Bancroft, Thomas Jefferson, Isadore Cohen, and O.W. Erlewine.

Special thanks to Annette Deglow

Written by scusdobserver

January 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Time-out

The District has reached the halfway point in its community engagement meetings and it’s time to take a breather to express admiration and gratitude for the professionals conducting the process.

Over the past few weeks, the SCUSD administration has stood in front of podiums at schools all around the district. The Serna Center men and women on the front lines have fielded quite a number of questions, complaints, suggestions and pot-shots.

They have all responded with intelligence, courtesy and respect.

Written by scusdobserver

January 28, 2009 at 4:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Will C. Wood Middle School — "learning begins when you admit, I don’t know."

Highlights from the community engagement meeting held on January 27 in the Central Study Area.

  • Competitive sports need to be restored at the junior high school level to keep children interested in school, thereby stabilizing enrollment.
  • The District should establish a foundation — a non-profit organization to raise additional funding.
  • Declining enrollment at Hiram Johnson HS was most recently a direct result of the failure to institute independent study programs similar to those offered at Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy (SAVA).
  • Offering additional services doesn’t always have to cost money.
  • Language translation at the community meetings for the central area is vital for parent engagement.

The meeting was sparsely attended in comparison to some other venues and the forum ended 40 minutes early at 7:20 p.m.

Written by scusdobserver

January 28, 2009 at 3:45 am

Alice Birney meeting adds new comments to the community’s voice

  • We would like to hear the creative options SCUSD claims to have generated.
  • The “greenness” of a school needs to be added to the matrix.
  • Every elementary student should be able to have a safe walk to school.
  • Preschools need to be expanded so that all children can have the “classic Kindergarten” experience since Kindergarten is now first grade.
  • Sacramento State and some community colleges are having a facility shortage and partnerships would be of benefit.
  • Our populations of seniors are another area to look for partnerships.
  • Please consider the need for different types of education for different kinds of students.
  • Replicate the Waldorf model into more schools.
  • Small schools have a large purpose.
  • No one study area should carry an extra portion of this burden.
  • The study areas seem to be creating an artificial division because of the unknown nature of who might be closed.

Written by scusdobserver

January 26, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Washington Elementary SRO

Highlights from the fourth community-engagement meeting held by SCUSD regarding school consolidation and/or closure.

The Bad News:
Some district schools may close or be consolidated with other schools next year.

The Good News:
The school board is listening to its communities and fostering collaborative energy on a grassroots level.

The auditorium at the school was full of concerned citizens, parents, teachers and administrators. Also in attendance were three school board members, Ellyne Bell (Area 1), Patrick Kennedy (Area 7) and Donald Terry (Area 3).
Steve Cohn, city councilmember (District 3), also attended the forum.

District comments:
• The budget challenges are formidable.
• SCUSD has not adjusted facilities space even though student enrollment has been declining.
• Stability of enrollment at a school is going to effect its “mobility”.
• The meeting sites chosen for the forums are not based on specific schools that may be targeted but for their ability to give every community a chance to be heard.
• How can the district best meet the needs of your community?

Community comments:
Write your legislator to express your concerns about the budget crisis.
Write your legislator.
• On creating a revenue stream…the district needs to partner with the community to utilize schools after hours (classroom space for meetings, gymnasiums for recreation, child care space for working parents).
• Transition disrupts families.
• Why are students leaving the district?
• What is the district’s long-term vision?

Written by scusdobserver

January 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm