Tuesday, September 23, 2008

IMO...The New Plan

Yes, disruption of the progress of children in a stable working environment is not good. The right thing to do, since change is inevitable, is to effect the fewest number of children. As for the concerns at Hazel Park, Mrs. Kovack and Mr. St. Pierre have taken the right approach by giving students and parent at Hazel Park the opportunity to continue through their programs while making this transition to a Magnet School. In this way no children are adversely effected. Demanding high achievement will only foster greater success among our children and benefit the community overall in many positive ways.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pass it on...

This may be our last opportunity:

Public Hearing On Proposed Plan For Schools for Advanced Study

The Jefferson Parish School Board will hold a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at the School Board Room at Bonnabel High School to conduct a public hearing on the Proposed Plan for Schools for Advanced Study prepared pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Consent Order in Lena Vern Dandridge, et al, vs. Jefferson Parish School Board, United States District Court N. 14-801.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Equality in magnet schools

Being as both of my children attend Metaire Academy, I was excited to hear at the co-op meeting that Julie Quinn has managed to get the Legislature to approve a $40,000 grant for the playground. My kids play on this playground every weekday, so this benefits my family directly.

I did stop to think about Gretna Academy and Ruppel, which were in Superintendent Diane Rousell's plan to function as the two elementary magnet schools on the westbank, and presumably still will be when she submits her new revised plan for a board vote at the October school board meeting. My thoughts revolved around whether either of these schools received such funding for their own playgrounds.

It is possible they have, and the news just hasn't hit the information pipeline yet. Or they might have received such funding for other programs MAAS already has, or for necessities they may lack. I just wonder if these westbank schools have a friend in Baton Rouge as Metairie Academy does, and if not, how do they get one? A Julie Quinn doesn't come along every day, particularly for the westbank parents who are stuck with ever half-baked idea the board comes up with.

The school board will ultimately get to pass every motion they wish regardless of whether parents agree or not, because we have no voice and we have no vote when it comes to the board's tiresome motions. The magnet school parents are pretty insignificant in numbers; the district parents, however, are plentiful. While magnet school parents may not be able to change the world, or even the vote, perhaps those district parents who are dissatisfied with the schools their children have been moved to, will remember the school board's attitude when it is time to vote on something that parents can control- the school board members.

The difficult and complex process continues...

It would seem apparent that the efforts of our School Board and those of Dr. Diane Roussel in constructing a proposal to educate our children would be most productive if the lines of communication remained opened and accessible to the parents and teachers of our parishes Magnet School System. Even though there was some misunderstanding among parents during the past two months regarding the distribution of grades at the middle school and high school levels, eventually the "light" came on and now the structuring of a new Magnet School Proposal begins again.

As we recover from yet another storm all is quiet but no doubt Dr. Roussel and others have gathered the parental petitions and recommendations sent in August and are busy preparing what may be the final proposal, like it or not, for Board approval. This will likely be the plan to go before Judge Kurt Englehardt in answer to concerns for fairness in addressing the Dandridge Consent Order on the first of November. Time for vetting this issue is running out. Of course, the Board could quickly make a unilateral and final decision without community input...however, doing this has not turned out for the best so far.

Congratulation! Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies for your diligence and fortitude in the face of what could have had a crippling effect on your record of success. I certainly hope the Judge will allow my daughter and all others like mine from the Westbank of this parish to apply.