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 Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal

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Involved Parent



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Fri 20 Feb 2009, 8:53 pm

I find this turn of events to be very unfortunate . I am a Howe parent who has been supportive of the first and initial proposal. I believe that many Howe parents were indeed supportive of the K-8 concept but got bogged down by the when, this year or next. I heard many people saying that this seemed like a good idea but the process was moving too quickly. It's clear now that a K-8 building will be created for the next school year; there will be no waiting. I think it's time for Howe parents to accept the time frame and state thier opinions regarding the k-8 concept without reguard for a time buffer. I believe we still have time to bring the first proposal to the foreground. Do we want to partake in a K-8 school or not? (The time to make this choice is now no matter how we would prefer a longer phase in period.) Mr. Ely has stated pretty clearly that the new school will not accept families as a whole; each child will have to take chances in the lottery. It's possible that your lower elementary student could get in while your upper elementary student would not. If you like K-8, is this a chance you are willing to take? I look forward next week to more lively discussion regarding this important issue. I hope we can rally to reignite the viability of the first proposal.
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Fri 20 Feb 2009, 9:29 pm

Involved Parent wrote:
I find this turn of events to be very unfortunate . I am a Howe parent who has been supportive of the first and initial proposal. I believe that many Howe parents were indeed supportive of the K-8 concept but got bogged down by the when, this year or next. I heard many people saying that this seemed like a good idea but the process was moving too quickly. It's clear now that a K-8 building will be created for the next school year; there will be no waiting. I think it's time for Howe parents to accept the time frame and state thier opinions regarding the k-8 concept without reguard for a time buffer. I believe we still have time to bring the first proposal to the foreground. Do we want to partake in a K-8 school or not? (The time to make this choice is now no matter how we would prefer a longer phase in period.) Mr. Ely has stated pretty clearly that the new school will not accept families as a whole; each child will have to take chances in the lottery. It's possible that your lower elementary student could get in while your upper elementary student would not. If you like K-8, is this a chance you are willing to take? I look forward next week to more lively discussion regarding this important issue. I hope we can rally to reignite the viability of the first proposal.

Thankfully, the board and administration are seeing the flaws, opposition and inequities in the first proposal and are at least considering alternatives.
Hopefully, the viability of the first proposal is nothing more than a wet spark and and the idea of a rekindle being met with adversity.
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Parent&Homeowner



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Fri 20 Feb 2009, 11:54 pm

I agree that those in favor of the first proposal need to speak up just as loud as those opposed have and at this point even louder! No more thinking lets hold off another year, as I admit I hoped for, since I would like to see a K-8 for my child with the Howe program I am willing to move to Central Park this fall. I’m even willing to help the teachers set up their classrooms and paint if need be.

I went K-4 to a K-8 school and had no problems from the older kids. Parents need to get over that part of it, think about it; those with younger kids are not saying much of their own parenting if they are worried about the older kids, since that will be one of their kids someday. I think the parents of the younger kids opposed should take a tour of the two other middle schools just so they see what they have to look forward to, if not in a K-8 school.

Also, do you all realize that if a whole “new” school is started teachers are going to leave the schools they are at now to fill a new school and one or more of those teachers could be one you wanted for your kids at your current school, think about how many teachers left to fill the new schools for this year. For those at Howe, yes we all love Mrs. Coffey and it wouldn’t be the same in some ways without her, but how much longer do you really think she is going to stay? And everyone at Howe talks about how much we are a family and community, how do you think this community is going to hold up to a “new” K-8 school opening and teachers and kids leaving, is it still the “community” we had before or is it just a building and a name?

Plus, this is going to be another lottery, for those not at Howe now that have complained it’s not fair because they cannot get in, that same thing is going to happen for the “new” school, not just Howe and as Mr. Ely pointed out already, there are no guarantees of keeping families together. Maybe there will actually be more of a chance for people to get into the Howe program thru the lottery if it moves depending on how they plan to section the grades. Remember also that no matter what K-8 goes to CP, the feeder system is going to change. Mr. Ely has already pointed out the “new” school would not be a true “magnet”; to have targeted programs would depend on funding. How does this new proposal fit into the funding anyway? It sounds that the first proposal, regardless if for it or not, is more financially feasible then this new one.

The first proposal also offers more to a wider range of people from the ages of 3 or 4 to 70+, not just K-8 aged kids. What about those parents of younger Pre-K aged kids, you would have a great location for your little ones at the Howe building. Also, using the building at night for continuing education would not do any harm to the neighborhood, from what I recall from a meeting; Mr. Ely said they could take some of the night classes held at the High School (which is two blocks away) and move them to Howe to make more room for the extra activities for the High School kids. I just bought a house near Howe, I am not worried in the least about my property value decreasing if the Howe building opens for a pre-k program, come on there would still be kids there, and the littlest ones are the cutest! And enough about the statistic, I do not think of my child as a statistic, I would like to see my child have the opportunity to continue a program we believe in for as long as possible.

Please do not let this go and let the negative attention of a few people ruin things for those in support of the first proposal!!! I know change can be scary at first but it can be good as well. If it would help Mr. Ely and the Board to reconsider the first proposal by those in support of it getting our own petition and explaining the pros and not just the cons to people, then say so. We can even do our own “in support of” rally somewhere so they can hear that there are more people for it, with some concerns, but still for it. I had hoped it would not have come to this but since it has unfortunately worked for those against the first proposal to get there way, then I’ll do what I can to change it back.

Mr. Ely and Board Members PLEASE consider the FIRST PROPOSAL again and do not let the few extremists ruin what will be a great change!

And for those regulars on here that want to argue most of what I’ve said, please send me a private message thru this discussion board and we can try to understand each others side in a more positive way.

Thank you all for reading this and those in support of the first proposal, it’s not a done deal as you may have thought, please start speaking up!!!!!!!!!
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jazz4474



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 12:54 am

Couldn't have said it better myself Parent&Homeowner! I want a Howe K-8. That is my ideal plan. It doesn't matter what building the program is in as long as it is done. Sometimes as hard as it might be sometimes, we need to take a leap of faith and trust in the system. I know that when it comes to our kids we don't want to think about budgets and cost effectiveness, but unfortunately there is only a finite amount of money to be spent for any program. Moving our Howe program to a bigger building in a year in which it was already slated to be renovated makes sense fiscally. It also makes sense to do it this year due to another K-8 opening in the fall. As hard as it is not to be emotional when it comes to the children, we need to step back and really look at the cold, hard facts of reality.
Now to get to some emotion(sorry can't help myself): I cannot bear to think that my 2nd grader would get picked for the CP lottery and my 3rd grader would not. That is not an option for me. My taxes going up because yet another elementary/middle school needs to be funded is unacceptable: expecially when they feed into only one high school that seems to get smaller each year.
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A Schdy Lifer



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PostSubject: Howe PTO Meeting resulting from Survey   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 1:11 am

Just to let everyone know there is a meeting being held on Tuesday the 24th at Howe school to discuss the results of the survey taken and Mr. Bill Roberts will be in attendance to go over the first proposal and the alternative proposal. The board stated that if after that meeting our results change we can submit the new numbers at the Wednesday night study session.

Out of the surveys that were completed the families for the move and the families against the move was a 50/50 split therefore we were deadlock. The question asking the parents if they would like the K-8 program idea results were more around a 65/35 split with 65% being infavor of the program. Several people did not fill in these questions because they needed more information and the majority of the surveys that were turned in requested another meeting.

That being said the President of the board stated that the board would only consider this proposal if the consensus of the Howe school community was for the proposal and told us that if the parents who requested more information from holding another meeting prior to their study session then we should do this. Mrs. Coffey has made the arrangements and the meeting will be 6:30 in the school gym. If you have any specific questions or concerns you can send them to howepto@yahoo.com.

This is not a done deal yet, please attend this meeting. Tell the families that do not have internet access about this meeting due to the short notice flyers may not be able to reach each parent of the school since we were on winter break.

Thank you,
Tammy James
PTO Treasurer
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 1:17 am

Admin wrote:
[b]A: I need to make one clarification in response to one of the posts here. Not every option is still being considered. I am charged with the responsibility for making recommendations that benefit the district’s children. I will not recommend certain options because they are not educationally adequate or economically feasible.

I 'd like to comment because I feel this is about one of my posts.

"Not every option is being considered!?" Really?! Shouldn't they be?!!
I agree it SHOULD be your responsibility to make a recommendation that benefit the district's children. ALL the district's children.

It was explained to me that there are several alternate proposals. There are always more than one.
It would be educational and informative to see the other " certain options" before forming an an educated opinion.
Why aren't they educationally adequate or economically feasible?

As a parent /homeowner/taxpayer/voter , I would like to see the economic feasibility you talk about. . I recall the proposal being done as a cost saving measure.
And then, Mr. Ely's word's, "cost neutral" and finally later,"Well, it may cost some money after all".

The contradictions alone make me leery.

I find it hard to believe and to stomach as a taxpayer, that adding on all the improvements, redistricting, busing , etc. that this is going to be economically beneficial.

Show me , in these hard economic times , with direct numbers, how you can add all of these things and not come up with a simpler , less expensive solution.
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 1:44 am

A Schdy Lifer wrote:
Just to let everyone know there is a meeting being held on Tuesday the 24th at Howe school to discuss the results of the survey taken and Mr. Bill Roberts will be in attendance to go over the first proposal and the alternative proposal. The board stated that if after that meeting our results change we can submit the new numbers at the Wednesday night study session.

Out of the surveys that were completed the families for the move and the families against the move was a 50/50 split therefore we were deadlock. The question asking the parents if they would like the K-8 program idea results were more around a 65/35 split with 65% being infavor of the program. Several people did not fill in these questions because they needed more information and the majority of the surveys that were turned in requested another meeting.

That being said the President of the board stated that the board would only consider this proposal if the consensus of the Howe school community was for the proposal and told us that if the parents who requested more information from holding another meeting prior to their study session then we should do this. Mrs. Coffey has made the arrangements and the meeting will be 6:30 in the school gym. If you have any specific questions or concerns you can send them to howepto@yahoo.com.

This is not a done deal yet, please attend this meeting. Tell the families that do not have internet access about this meeting due to the short notice flyers may not be able to reach each parent of the school since we were on winter break.

Thank you,
Tammy James
PTO Treasurer

Wow, it must be nice to be able to have the President of the board stating that the board would only consider this proposal if the consensus of the Howe School Community was for the proposal.
Also nice that you guys get a "do over" and resubmit an initial survey that was inconclusive.
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A Schdy Lifer



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PostSubject: Not a Howe Dad   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 8:19 am

It wasn't inconclusive - the whole school didn't get them in nor did all of them have a yes/no vote due to needing more information. You really need to quote and read the whole post before posting comments. This is why the president is allowing us to do this. This is a meeting for those who didn't know how to answer the survey the opportunity to answer it. Will it change the overall results, who knows???? The point of it is to add more awareness to those who requested it.

The opposition had it's chance to speak on Tuesday the 17th directly with Board Members to get clarification, it is only right that the same be done for those who are still scratching their heads!
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Parent&Homeowner



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 9:06 am

Money is set aside for different things in the district. I’m sure if you contact Mr. Ely or his office yourself they would be able to explain this to you. Improvements are going to happen regardless, that is money the district has for just that, improvements. It’s a lot of information to take in and recently found out just some of it myself.
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Mary Kay Fenner



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 11:43 am

On my past postings I have addressed the middle schools as failing- which all 3 do show up on a state list as failing- however when I spoke about "Failing" I did not mean from some standard testing of what falls either in or out of what is considered the "norm", a term that I hate . I think that any family that has more then one child realizes that nothing is the "norm" and that as a district we have so many families and children who need to learn outside of what is considered the "norm" that to suggest that according to the std. testing that the test scores of children who fall outside of this "norm" is what is contributing to the middle schools being on a failing list is not fair to those children and their families who have more then their share of challenges outside of what is considered the "norm" . I doubt that if we were able to not count the test scores of children who fall outside of the "norm" or standards that middle schools would then be considered high performing.

When I spoke of "failing" middle school I meant the whole concept of middle school- I do not have anyone on the board feeding me # on how to rearrange the middle schools to have the same # of children in each building, but that this not going to change the "system" that is just moving children around. - Middle School as a system is past its prime! it only works o.k. at best for most children and fails others. As families, districts, communities and society- we take these children out of their elementary schools - of which they have known the same staff and authority figures and move them on to a whole new set of rules- responsibilities, authority figures at a time in their lives when they are coming to terms with all of the other changes going on with them. And then we expect them to accept a whole new set of changes again in another 2 years for High School- For some children this elementary family is their only family. This is why I believe that a K-8 will work- 6-8 grades will be able to take on more responsibility and accept the challenges more easily with the people and rules they are use to. My hope then is that the transisiton to High School will then be a bit smoother for most children. If the by product of this is as a district smaller classes can happen Great! We, as a society expect our children to grow up so fast now, and our children are facing so many more issues then any of us had to face or address when we were growing up- that we need to remeber they are children- looking to us as their families to help them understand it all. These are just my opinoins and observations with many children that I know.

With the new proposal I have a whole new set of questions- such as if Howe on Baker is left K-6 will it still be a feeder school to Mont Pleasant for Middle school or will you re-district, as had been suggested, that all of the families who are not in a k-8 program, will go to middle school depending on what side of State street you live on? What about families who have children in the grades that will be given priority and children who are in the non priority grades- Would there be consideration to families who find themselves in this situation? Is the district planning on closing any of the "middle schools' with the K-8 proposal not only this year but down the road? To the schools that find themselves in a traditional middle school Mont Pleasant and Onieda- what will be changed at these schools so that they can be brought up to high performing standards? How, as a district can we afford to fund and support a whole new k-8 program at Central park, staff, adminstrators, supplies etc. ? If the money is there for this then why not make all of the elementary schools k-8 at the same time? I believe that I had heard that Howe was the only building that could not be physically changed.
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Parent&Homeowner



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 12:28 pm

The comment that, “the Howe proposal does not have the necessary support to be viable as an alternative for the district to expand the program to a K-8 setting” sounds more like the Board Members and Mr. Ely have been bullied into dropping the first proposal. I thought our school district DID NOT tolerate bullying, but just as it happens in the schools with kids, it sadly seems to have happened here. One definition of a bully is “To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation” sure sounds like that is what has happened if the Howe and Pre-K proposal is not going to be an opinion anymore.
This is not to offend anyone but to simply state that it looks as though those opposed have been heard more and things do not seem to be equal in terms of what is going to be proposed now.


Last edited by Parent&Homeowner on Sat 21 Feb 2009, 9:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 1:13 pm

Parent&Homeowner wrote:
The comment that, “the Howe proposal does not have the necessary support to be viable as an alternative for the district to expand the program to a K-8 setting” sounds more like the Board Members and Mr. Ely have been bullied into dropping the first proposal. I thought our school district DID NOT tolerate bullying, but just as it happens in the schools with kids, it sadly seems to have happened here. One definition of a bully is “To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation” sure sounds like that is what has happened if the Howe and Pre-K proposal is not going to be an opinion anymore.

I do not believe the School Superintendent and Board would allow or tolerate being bullied.
I applaud they are not so short sighted to see things only one way and are listening to the concerns of other parents.
I still think the second proposal has flaws and was disappointed to hear that these are the only two proposals under consideration.
If a survey is to be done, it should be a proper one where every citizen who pays school taxes has a voice in the decision and not just parents of school age children and certainly not just for a consensus of the "Howe family Community".
So the original Howe survey was a 50/50 split because people had more questions and didn't know enough about it. Well, guess what? There are still many people in the "other community" who still aren't aware of the implications.
There isn't anyone being bullied here.
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un autre prof



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 4:41 pm

Not a howe dad wrote:
Parent&Homeowner wrote:
The comment that, “the Howe proposal does not have the necessary support to be viable as an alternative for the district to expand the program to a K-8 setting” sounds more like the Board Members and Mr. Ely have been bullied into dropping the first proposal. I thought our school district DID NOT tolerate bullying, but just as it happens in the schools with kids, it sadly seems to have happened here. One definition of a bully is “To force one's way aggressively or by intimidation” sure sounds like that is what has happened if the Howe and Pre-K proposal is not going to be an opinion anymore.

I do not believe the School Superintendent and Board would allow or tolerate being bullied.
I applaud they are not so short sighted to see things only one way and are listening to the concerns of other parents.
I still think the second proposal has flaws and was disappointed to hear that these are the only two proposals under consideration.
If a survey is to be done, it should be a proper one where every citizen who pays school taxes has a voice in the decision and not just parents of school age children and certainly not just for a consensus of the "Howe family Community".
So the original Howe survey was a 50/50 split because people had more questions and didn't know enough about it. Well, guess what? There are still many people in the "other community" who still aren't aware of the implications.
There isn't anyone being bullied here.

NAHD, You talk about a proper survey including "every citizen." Please remember that the BOE president charged the Howe PTO President with surveying the Howe parents. Your idea would bog down any progress that the Board wants to make in the education of our children. The folks who pay school taxes without the benefit of having children in the school probably would not have the best interests of our children at heart. I realize the system for funding the schools is lousy and folks that don't have kids get the short end of the stick because they pay with no visible benefits in their own homes.
Sometimes Boards of Education and Administrators appear to be bullied or worn down by the louder folks. I apologize in advance if anyone is offended by this.
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Karen Kirstein



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PostSubject: Please do some research if you have questions.   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 5:14 pm

Hello Howe Parents –
Have you spent time on-line researching the benefits of the K-8 model? I have and I strongly urge you to do so also. Below is only one article outlining the benefits of this educational concept. Even if your children are still in the lower elementary grades, please consider the reality that time passes. Before you know it, your child will be in the 6th grade and you will be thinking about his/her junior high experience. Perhaps you should give the idea some consideration now. Please take some time to read this:

Some Findings
About K-8 Schools


List member Keith Look is a researcher with the Philadelphia Education Fund. In this note to the MiddleWeb List (07/02), Keith shared some findings from his own experience and his dissertation research around the efficacy of K-8 schools.


Hey Folks,

The K-8 vs. junior high/ middle school issue has been a major issue for me the past few years. I was part of a project that attempted to convert a large struggling urban middle school and its 4 feeder elementary schools into 5 K-8 schools. We faced issues of curricula, budget, neighborhood boundaries, staffing, etc. There were lots of lessons learned. In fact, this became my dissertation recently completed.

So along the way, I've got a bibliography if any of you would be interested, as well as a history of grade span configurations in the US and a conclusion chapter that highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses of K-8 schools and making the conversion into the model. In addition, there was an early article I wrote along the way which can be read online at:

http://www.philaedfund.org/notebook/TheGreatK8Debate.htm

Here are some highlights of what I've learned, experienced, etc:

1. K-8 schools may be a viable alternative to the large middle schools that struggle to be more than factory models of education

2. K-8 schools can enhance social capital and give at-risk students, in particular, greater opportunities at success by building relationships with staff over a course of nine years. This seems to be fueling, at least in part, the return of K-8 schools in urban and rural communities.

3. Parent involvement can improve because parents are usually happiest with their children's elementary school experiences, and therefore are more likely to stay involved in the children's school lives longer because they are already comfortable with the school and its staff AND because younger siblings/family enroll in the same bldg.

4. Middle grades students in a K-8 school behave differently than in a middle school. They take on the role of protector and role model as opposed to having to establish new reputations upon entering a middle school.

5. Absent from the Turning Points discussion, a K-8 school can incorporate a distinct, rigorous, and developmentally appropriate middle grades program within a K-8 grade span (one that includes all recommendations of Turning Points--both editions--from small learning environments to block scheduling, etc.).

6. Transitions to K-8 schools can enhance teacher collaboration and articulation within and across grades.

7. Internal accountability can increase in schools making the transition to K-8 b/c now teachers know personally who they are sending their children to next year, and middle grades teachers know who there students are coming from.

8. There's no substitute for effective leadership and good, committed teachers.
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jazz4474



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 5:41 pm

Karen, thank you for finding positive research on the K-8 model. This research shows that this is a viable model that has met success elsewhere.
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 6:04 pm

[quote="un autre prof"][
Please remember that the [b]BOE president charged the Howe PTO President with surveying the Howe parents

I guess my replies should be directed to Mr. Janiszewski and wonder why he is taking such an active concern for Howe. I don't recall him reaching out to the parents of Woodlawn , Paige and Lincoln and charging and asking any of these other schools for surveys.
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 6:14 pm

Karen Kirstein wrote:
Hello Howe Parents –
Have you spent time on-line researching the benefits of the K-8 model? I have and I strongly urge you to do so also. Below is only one article outlining the benefits of this educational concept. Even if your children are still in the lower elementary grades, please consider the reality that time passes. Before you know it, your child will be in the 6th grade and you will be thinking about his/her junior high experience. Perhaps you should give the idea some consideration now. Please take some time to read this:

Some Findings
About K-8 Schools


List member Keith Look is a researcher with the Philadelphia Education Fund. In this note to the MiddleWeb List (07/02), Keith shared some findings from his own experience and his dissertation research around the efficacy of K-8 schools.


Hey Folks,

The K-8 vs. junior high/ middle school issue has been a major issue for me the past few years. I was part of a project that attempted to convert a large struggling urban middle school and its 4 feeder elementary schools into 5 K-8 schools. We faced issues of curricula, budget, neighborhood boundaries, staffing, etc. There were lots of lessons learned. In fact, this became my dissertation recently completed.

So along the way, I've got a bibliography if any of you would be interested, as well as a history of grade span configurations in the US and a conclusion chapter that highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses of K-8 schools and making the conversion into the model. In addition, there was an early article I wrote along the way which can be read online at:

http://www.philaedfund.org/notebook/TheGreatK8Debate.htm

Here are some highlights of what I've learned, experienced, etc:

1. K-8 schools may be a viable alternative to the large middle schools that struggle to be more than factory models of education

2. K-8 schools can enhance social capital and give at-risk students, in particular, greater opportunities at success by building relationships with staff over a course of nine years. This seems to be fueling, at least in part, the return of K-8 schools in urban and rural communities.

3. Parent involvement can improve because parents are usually happiest with their children's elementary school experiences, and therefore are more likely to stay involved in the children's school lives longer because they are already comfortable with the school and its staff AND because younger siblings/family enroll in the same bldg.

4. Middle grades students in a K-8 school behave differently than in a middle school. They take on the role of protector and role model as opposed to having to establish new reputations upon entering a middle school.

5. Absent from the Turning Points discussion, a K-8 school can incorporate a distinct, rigorous, and developmentally appropriate middle grades program within a K-8 grade span (one that includes all recommendations of Turning Points--both editions--from small learning environments to block scheduling, etc.).

6. Transitions to K-8 schools can enhance teacher collaboration and articulation within and across grades.

7. Internal accountability can increase in schools making the transition to K-8 b/c now teachers know personally who they are sending their children to next year, and middle grades teachers know who there students are coming from.

8. There's no substitute for effective leadership and good, committed teachers.

I have also spent time researching the pros and cons of K-8, trying to form an unbiased opinion and there is no conclusive evidence either way.
So for every pro article posted , there is a con article also. We don't want to go there. We can, but it bogs down the process.
I looked it up to try find a case against K-8 and couldn't in good conscience post something that only presents one case.
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wachala1



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 6:27 pm

My question to the administration is this, if there was a k-8 program once in Schenectady (Woodlawn 80's - early 90's I believe), why was that abandoned.
Also, what precautions will we make to ensure that the CP k-8 will not be abandoned in the future.

Thank you,
Joyce Wachala
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Karen Kirstein



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PostSubject: K-8 research   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 6:59 pm

When I google K- 8 schools or K-8 schools replacing middle schools or K-8 school research, I find an overwhelming amount of information in support of this kind of school. Sometimes I see the criticism that findings are inconclusive but for the most part, testimonies, research, and discussions strongly encourage the implementation of K-8 schools, especially in urban areas. I am hoping that all Howe parents will spend time reading about this trend before attending the meeting on Tuesday evening (the 24th). I most sincerely believe that this is a sound educational concept -- otherwise I wouldn't take the time to try to pass on information. I am not trying to bog down the blog -- I am sharing resources regarding this concept. I hope you have time to do a little looking yourself. Take care.
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Parent&Homeowner



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 7:19 pm

I do not feel arguing back and forth on here is worth it anymore and admin has already commented about it. I'm just extremely upset that because of a few extremists, a proposal will not be considered, I do not understand how that is fair.
Keep in mind the proposal was not just about those at Howe, but for new kids and families that would have the chance to join our schools sooner and for some continuing education classes that people pay for, hence money coming in.


Last edited by Parent&Homeowner on Sat 21 Feb 2009, 9:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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wachala1



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 8:18 pm

I suspect that the reason so many people are debating this proposal and doing their research is because we all deeply care about our children.

If you were going to buy a car and the saleman said, this is the best car ever, we'd still do our homework. We'd check out mileage, safety features, etc. This is the same thing. Only the concern here is our children and that's the emotional entanglement we are all dealing with. I believe researching and debating this issue is the way we as parents work through this process.

It's a hard dilemma and everyone has an opinion. No issue is ever black and white and in this proposal, there is no right way or wrong way. We will disagree and at times agree as well, but this open dialog is the only way we all find out how each person feels. It's not right or wrong it's life. We all want to make sure that the decisions we make now will help our children in the future. To question and discuss is assuring that all peoples concerns are addressed.

Thanks,
Joyce Wachala
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 8:43 pm

Parent&Homeowner wrote:
For those regulars on here that feel the need to argue most of what people try to say, why not send private messages directed at those you are shooting down thru this discussion board instead of just being even more negative or is your point to keep stirring things up. I hope by now the board members and superintendant know what those are trying to do and take that into consideration when listening to all of this.
I will respond to your PM when I have more time.
Why are you so afraid to discuss things publicly?
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tdrparent



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PostSubject: The first proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 10:06 pm

Dear Superintendent and Board, please put the first proposal back on the table. I can accept with no problem your disapproving it on its merits, but to have controversy alone kill the proposal would be very disheartening. Thanks for listening, and good luck with the difficult decision-making.


Last edited by tdrparent on Sun 22 Feb 2009, 10:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Excited parent



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sat 21 Feb 2009, 10:52 pm

HMMMMM I am wondering, How come there was no debate like this when turning King Magnet into a K-8?? Doesn't anyone care that they are getting a K-8? Doesn't anyone in the district have a problem with that?

Why is it that only one Magnet school can become a K-8 but not the other?

Don't you think that creating a new k-8 will cause tension at Howe when half the school tries to get into Central Park? Will you have enough demand to fill those empty spots at Howe? Don't you think taking half the kids out will cause some division? What about the teachers? Do you think with the opening of a new school that no teacher from Howe will want to take a position there? Then opening up positions for new teachers at Howe? I mean when 3 new schools opened up this year we lost teachers. We have a new music teacher, gym teacher, 4th grade teacher 2 temporary teachers one in first and another in fifth. That is FIVE NEW teachers this year alone! Does anyone think that no teacher will ever leave either by choice to a new position or retirement? And yet with new teachers, Howe is still Howe, amazing.
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wachala1



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PostSubject: Re: Important Notice, Response to Input and Update to the K-8 Proposal   Sun 22 Feb 2009, 10:12 am

Excited Parent,

You are absolutely right, the King K-8 is the right way to go. I don't think we heard any debate about this because that is the direction we should be taking with the k-8's. Let's take a look at our 14 elementary schools, see which ones can take back their 7 & 8th graders (like Woodlawn as their building is configured as a k-8 now) and do those moves. This is just like the district did taking back the 6th graders.

Once we decrease the numbers in the middle schools (when as many 7 & 8th are back in the available elementary schools), then CP is a logical move.

You're right Excited Parent, we have 14 elementary schools (all doing well) and only 3 middle schools (1400+ 7 & 8th graders this fall) and one high school over 2,400 students. If this proposal goes through, we lose CP as a middle school and the number of students in MP and Oneida goes up. I do understand that the k-8 model seems like the way to go, but right now, to close off CP to Howe will only help Howe in the future, not the rest of the districts middle school children.

The big picture here is that the inital proposal will only benefit Howe at the risk of putting more chilldren in both Oneida and MP. What's the plan for creating more k-8's in the district? If this is only a Magnet School proposal, how will this effect the other 12 elementary schools? Why isn't CP targeted as a potential 2nd high school?

These are all questions which have been asked over and over again without answers. I do understand we as a district want k-8's, but at what risk to all the other districts middle schoolers?

Thank you,
Joyce Wachala


Last edited by wachala1 on Sun 22 Feb 2009, 2:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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