SCUSD Observer

Sacramento, California

Archive for the ‘H.W. Harkness’ Category

One Size Does Not Fit All

Highlights for Wednesday evening’s community meeting at Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School, West study area.
Board Members in attendance: Roy Grimes, Patrick Kennedy, Diana Rodriguez
The school’s auditorium was packed full of supporters for John Morse Waldorf , MLK (K-8) and Lisbon elementary schools.

Community comments

  • Many speakers voiced support for John Morse Elementary and its Waldorf methods programs of art, music and alternative learning environments. A suggestion was made to augment the John Morse program at Harkness Elementary School, thereby eliminating the problem of over-enrollment lottery while offering the Waldorf program a place to grow.
  • One community member expressed outrage at the ongoing construction of the Pocket-Greenhaven Library (in conjunction with the School of Engineering and Sciences). Deputy Superintendent Tom Barentson explained that the joint-use project has already been financed with voter-approved bond money and the costs associated with the construction do not affect SCUSD’s current budget woes.
  • A MLK parent suggested a joint-use proposal for SMUD to install solar rooftops across the district’s schools to begin the transition to renewable energy.
  • A neighbor mentioned that the district should consider more pre-school and kindergarten classes to keep schools open because of a growing number of young families with toddlers in the area.
  • The PTA president at MLK suggested that the district look into asking wealthy donors to give money to the schools. Other speakers proposed corporate advertising or partnerships with business as a way to sponsor the school system – a recurrent theme at many of the recent community meetings.
  • A schools’ psychologist asked the district to look at parent involvement when considering school closure.
  • Karen Young, former SCUSD board member, suggested that the current board needs to look at personnel costs, benefits, and retirement costs and ask employees to share the deficit with possible furloughs or re-negotiated contracts. When approached for reaction, a representative of the Sacramento City Teachers’ Association had no comment on Young’s remarks.