Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Questions for Boone

Are you looking at any solutions to our elementary libraries?
Third graders get a Worcester Public Library card...talking to our library about cooperating. Libraries are information sources (not just books).
Display cases to pull resources as kids are studying particular units in school.
Very protective of the school day (instructional period of the day): still running instructional time, day, year...not moved from that. Needs are different. Evaluation of partnerships--keep those adding value, add more that will add value. Wrap around the school day

Role of CPPAC?
Being a clearinghouse, forum, connect with as many parents as possible. Do problem solving, direction...ambassadors for the work we are trying to accomplish in WPS
Positive and effective dialogue around what are our problems and solutions
Obviously our schools should be welcoming and inviting, but need support in getting information out.
Ad for the new website (note her new message on Obama's address)

Mary Mullaney from School Committee: thinks teachers didn't get into full gear (at Doherty) as kids are still getting classes (as we have no guidance counselors working during the summertime)...basically, there's a bunch of programming that has to go on at the beginning of the year. Wants guidance office open earlier...don't want to waste any learning time, wasted time if you're working out kinks.
Today's meeting (Boone says) was a debrief on how opening went.
(She took it for granted that principals work 12 months, as did the transportation director, both of which are 220 day employees, who do not work during the entire summer in Worcester)

Talk about arts when there's so much in the core curriculum?
What kids have to know has shifted. Have to have a rigorous curriculum with support for kids who are having difficuties, and more for kids who have gotten what they need to. What are the opportunities that they have in place.
Not every child will be a mathematician or a philosopher or a historian...how do we keep that richness?
Truly an opportunity for us to look under every rock...have to keep a well-rounded education...try to have some symmetry. Deal with people not programs (don't cut the program, deal with the person who is a problem)
Being budget conversation with pictures of children in the middle of the table. Great fiscal stewards.
Best professional development for teachers is that delivered by other teachers
What in the instructional core, and keep that.
Asks for the prayers...have a heck of a task before us...have to survive it and survive it well.

Thank you for your speech...RTTT (Race to the Top) money from Duncan...large achievement gap between those that have and have not. Thoughts on RTTT money? Using schools after school day?
One of my greatest concerns, departure with Duncan (didn't take a job with him)..."I'm concerned that the federal government is sending a message that the only way to improve schools is to create new schools...know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, BUT...put together right formula, we can accomplish what a charter school can do...Have to have the will to do." Big concern with RTTT...WPS has a great track record of getting grants. Challenge is sustaining efforts post-grant...sustainablity. Has been contacted to be a peer reviewer for RTTT. Wants existing public schools to get a chance.
Sustain it.

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