A blog post just went up Sunday at Latte Republic about “Schooling the District.” The blog post can be accessed here.
The blog is about a petition going around urging the school district to keep all the Whatcom students and staff together. As has been reported in stories, Whatcom staff have created a professional development community and teaching style that works best when everyone can be together. The way the curriculum is aligned between grade levels and subjects works best when teachers and students can interact between grade levels.
However, there is an error in the petition. It states that 13 scenarios are under consideration for where to house Whatcom students and staff during the 2010-11 school year. Actually, there is no set number of scenarios being considered at this point. The district has been gathering input from people through an online “survey” that started a couple weeks ago. There are 10 scenarios suggested within the survey that people can provide input on, and then there is an open-ended suggestion area for any ideas that hadn’t been discussed. At this point, all options are being looked at, with the exception of Lowell Elementary School, as a place to house students and staff while the school is being rebuilt.
I know there is a lot of concern about keeping students and staff together, as I stated earlier. But, in all the discussions and petitions I’ve heard about and seen, there have been no concrete suggestions about how to do this, only a plea to keep students and staff together. If people want to keep everyone together, then there needs to be suggestions that address it. If no one can come up with a way to make that scenario happen, then there’s no option but to split students and staff up.
The district “survey” (which is for input gathering and brainstorming, not for ranking suggestions) closes on Monday, Jan. 4 at noon. It can be accessed here. During the first week of January, school board members, district officials, administrators from Whatcom and potentially others (i haven’t heard if teachers/parents are being represented yet) will sit down and narrow the suggestions to the “best” two or three options. Those will then go back out to the public in another online “survey” to gather input and see if there are ramifications of any of those plans that hadn’t been considered. Acting Superintendent Sherrie Brown will make a final recommendation to the school board by the end of January.
I have found out that the full list of suggestions gathered through this first online “survey” will be released before the second survey starts, giving people a chance to see what kinds of things people came up with. Reasons for why ideas weren’t selected as “the best” should also be given at that time.
So, if you have an opinion or idea of what should happen with Whatcom students and staff, be sure to submit your input through the online “survey.”