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HoweMom2



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PostSubject: since proposal being approved   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 4:11 pm

My son is in 3rd grade going into 4th at howe and my daughter was going to go to howe for K next year. Does that mean they get to go to CP cause the program is moving do they go with the program or do i have to re-enter them and hope the lottery picks them? confused confused
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JAG



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 4:28 pm

You are all set! If you're already in Howe then your family just moves with the program over to CP.
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lafeal



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 11:23 pm

Ya the Howe family al set to stay in their perfect little bubble
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Lakishia Martin



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Thu 05 Mar 2009, 11:30 pm

I am amazed that even though the opposition to the proposal outweighed those in favor this still got approved. What was wrong with taking that into consideration and at least giving more time to evaluate the options? I don't know what the hurry is, but I am quickly losing faith in the district I have had to defend over and over again.
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tdrparent



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PostSubject: Responding   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 7:46 am

Hi everyone,

Regarding the majority idea - we can't tell just from the forums and the discussion board how the majority felt. Not everyone speaks up in public, and I'm guessing that Board members received hundreds of letters and emails. Also they had the experience of the strategic planning process which involved hundreds of community members over many months working hundreds of hours on research, discussion and comparing ideas. Even though it was a few years ago, the population, issues, ideas and goals are similar now.

Howe is not a perfect bubble - it has the same problems as every other elementary school in Schenectady. Like the other elementaries, it's also an excellent school. And it's certainly not a bubble that's being stayed in - there's going to be a huge upheaval. It will be hard on the kids and WAY harder on teachers. It's an expanding "bubble" that will, in a few years, have many more spots for K-6ers than it does now as well as the additional upper grades.

There are benefits for the entire district - if the international magnet program and King demonstrate that K-8 is the way to go in our district, then the other elementary schools can move in that direction with confidence instead of the misgivings and fears that the future K-8 folks are facing now. A K-8 based on a prior K-6 will give a clearer picture of what other K-6s will face if they expand to K-8 than a new K-8 would.

I supported this proposal and I believe it will work out for the best in the long run. But it won't be easy and I'd like to ask for support instead of sarcasm.

Thanks for listening,
Caroline Robinson
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lafeal



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 9:01 am

I hear you, but I feel like hundreds of others, that a community based school is just that, with children from the community. Now my son has to go clear accross town, in an unfamiliar area, with unfamiliar children. Ya maybe a handful of friends if they haven't move away. But even so my son plays sports but our district plays with children from Paige, from Woodlawn, from PV. The district over by Onieda plays over Northside. So this is going to be a culture shock for him and my other two children. But the district doesn't care about that. They care about test scores.

What's good for one school should be good for all. If a K-8 is suppose to be so great and suppose to be better. Why not go the extra mile and put all elementary schools K-8 and get rid of middle schools altogether. Is money a problem? No!
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tdrparent



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 9:23 am

lafeal wrote:
I hear you, but I feel like hundreds of others, that a community based school is just that, with children from the community. Now my son has to go clear accross town, in an unfamiliar area, with unfamiliar children. Ya maybe a handful of friends if they haven't move away. But even so my son plays sports but our district plays with children from Paige, from Woodlawn, from PV. The district over by Onieda plays over Northside. So this is going to be a culture shock for him and my other two children. But the district doesn't care about that. They care about test scores.

What's good for one school should be good for all. If a K-8 is suppose to be so great and suppose to be better. Why not go the extra mile and put all elementary schools K-8 and get rid of middle schools altogether. Is money a problem? No!

Hi Lafeal,

Thanks for listening. A couple thoughts - K-8 is supposed to be great, but we won't know for sure that's it's great for Schenectady at this point in our history until we test it out.

Also, I went to the Board Meeting on Tuesday and listened to the members talk about how they came to their individual decisions. It was really clear that they struggled with it, that they care about all the kids, and they don't displace them lightly or without some regrets. I don't think any of them have kids at Howe, and their own kids are going to be displaced. They're good, caring, smart people who are doing their best with no compensation.

Thanks again,
Caroline Robinson
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 9:26 am

Regarding the majority idea: if they took the time (which they should have) to have a vote or offer surveys to the rest of the district, there wouldn't be any argument about this, the vote wouldn't even be close. I don't know of anyone from the Woodlawn district that would want this. What sense does it make to have to send our kids sent to the farthest corner of the city?

To all the Howe parents for this proposal; Think of me everytime you have to battle the abysmal parking situation. I can't imagine what adding 5 or 6 more grades to the school is going to do to the parking. And good luck negotiating all the slippery inclines in the wintertime. There is no way to get to that school without going uphill. So when you can't get enough momentum because of kids walking in the middle of the road and start sliding backwards: think of me.
Then again, the Superintendent will probably have all the houses across the street removed to accomadate a parking lot and the rest of city streets raised so you won't have to worry about anything.
Oh yeah. Don't forget to lock your doors and never leave your vehicle unattended.
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Lakishia Martin



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 10:09 am

tdr parent

Regarding the majority idea - we can't tell just from the forums and the discussion board how the majority felt. Not everyone speaks up in public, and I'm guessing that Board members received hundreds of letters and emails.


You are right, but I know over half the Howe community was against it. I think I can safely say as a Woodlawn parent that Woodlawn was against it and let's not forget all the petitions that were signed. We also can't tell what the majority was because the district didn't bother to make sure the word got out to everyone.

I am done voicing my opinon on this because obviously it doesn't mean anything. When the district decides they want to do something they just do it. You can best believe that when my fifth grader completes Woodlawn I will no longer be living in this district.
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E.Connell



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 10:38 am

I am also struggling with staying in Schenectady because of the obvious. I love my neighborhood, my house and was pleasantly surprised with our neighbors. I have reservations that they are really doing the right thing here with the timing of this move (or the lack there of). My biggest concern is if and when the BOE will address the question to the best of their ability if this is a direction they want to go in for THE DISTRICT AS A WHOLE. It is a big concern to me because we will now have 2 big middle schools, and feel that for the stability and education of our children you have opened a door that demands we go in this direction.

If the BOE really wanted to know how we felt they would have surveyed the rest of us, not just the Howe community. I personally do not have any ill feelings toward the Howe parents that want the same things for their kids that I want for mine. I hope this proposal does not backfire and they achieve their goal in this move. I also hope the Howe parents that wanted this will support the rest of the parents in our city in attaining better education for all our kids and push for K-8 in all our schools.
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sm12



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PostSubject: proposal   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 2:55 pm

Not a howe dad,
In reagards to getting to Central Park, there are other ways to get there, and its not just by going up a hill. I'm curious, do you have children that attend an elementary school?
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 3:14 pm

sm12 wrote:
Not a howe dad,
In reagards to getting to Central Park, there are other ways to get there, and its not just by going up a hill. I'm curious, do you have children that attend an elementary school?

There are NO streets that lead to Central Park that doesn't involve going uphill. Unless of course you live on Nora Ave, in which case your child can't even go to the school down the street now!
Tell me how. Elm, Division, Robinson, Furman, Bradley, through the park, ALL entail driving uphill. The school is on a hill! Did you even consider driving by the school before voting for the move!

I have a daughter graduating from C.P. this year and had nothing but positive things to say about the school.
I have a son that goes to Woodlawn Elementary and like all the parents of Woodlawn Schools will have to send them across town which is still beyond comprehension.

I, personally, am not afraid of hills.
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Not a howe dad



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Fri 06 Mar 2009, 3:41 pm

Not a howe dad wrote:
sm12 wrote:
Not a howe dad,
In reagards to getting to Central Park, there are other ways to get there, and its not just by going up a hill. I'm curious, do you have children that attend an elementary school?

There are NO streets that lead to Central Park that doesn't involve going uphill. Unless of course you live on Nora Ave, in which case your child can't even go to the school down the street now!
Tell me how. Elm, Division, Robinson, Furman, Bradley, through the park, ALL entail driving uphill. The school is on a hill! Did you even consider driving by the school before voting for the move!

I have a daughter graduating from C.P. this year and had nothing but positive things to say about the school.
I have a son that goes to Woodlawn Elementary and like all the parents of Woodlawn Schools will have to send them across town which is still beyond comprehension.

I, personally, am not afraid of hills.

Sorry, that reply was a little sarcastic.

I would be happy to help you map out a route to the school of roads that get plowed first, least incline, etc.

This offer is off the board and moot, if the Superintendent and Board President, Janiszewski have already promised to put a helicopter landing zone on top of the school to help alleviate any inconveniences.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: I am so glad I don't have kids in the K-8 group in this district   Sat 07 Mar 2009, 10:22 am

All I can say is thank god I don't have any elementary kids in this district. It is amazing that the board and superintdndent would put so many kids, outside of Howe, through this upheaval, when there were other options suggested that would have minimized the impact on the students who attended the elementary schools near CP.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: What does this mean for your child   Sat 07 Mar 2009, 10:26 am

Lakishia Martin wrote:
tdr parent

Regarding the majority idea - we can't tell just from the forums and the discussion board how the majority felt. Not everyone speaks up in public, and I'm guessing that Board members received hundreds of letters and emails.


You are right, but I know over half the Howe community was against it. I think I can safely say as a Woodlawn parent that Woodlawn was against it and let's not forget all the petitions that were signed. We also can't tell what the majority was because the district didn't bother to make sure the word got out to everyone.

I am done voicing my opinon on this because obviously it doesn't mean anything. When the district decides they want to do something they just do it. You can best believe that when my fifth grader completes Woodlawn I will no longer be living in this district.

Hello Lakishia,

I am curious, what does this plan mean for your child? How can no one care about how this whole plan affects the Woodlawn parents? How will parents without dependable transportation be able to even attend school events on the opposite side of town? How can a neighborhood build up a community feeling when theiir kids are getting shipped all over? I have not had the chance to meet you yet but pleas edo not give up with expressing your opinions because you can help to make a difference.
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Get Involved



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Sun 08 Mar 2009, 12:55 pm

Now that the decision has been by the Board Of Education, it is time for all of us to support this initiative and help to make the transition a success for all. I have tried my best to keep up with the discussions here. I am not sure if I have missed it, but I noticed that there were no real input from parents of high school students or parents who were around during the last MAJOR redistricting; specifically when the magnet schools were created and the two high schools were merged into one. I would love to hear the opinions, thoughts and perspective of the parents who were both supporters and opponents of that initiative.
I have a student who graduated two years ago and a current junior at the high school. I was one of the parents who was not necessarily sure about the magnet school idea. I will admit that at the time of that initiative neither of my children were school age. However, I clearly remember the UPROAR within the district. The fight and decisiveness was much more than it is now. However, I believe that our district survived and our students are being successful (regardless of the test scores, there is more to getting an education than what the newspapers report). Anyway, there was immense pressure on the School Board at that time, but they choose what was felt to be the right decision for the district. It was that decision that created Howe Magnet School. The current school that most people think is the best in the district. It was that decision that made it possible for the high school to offer such varied classes, programs and opportunities. Currently, students at the high school can choose from a myriad of options because they are all in the same buildings. There are some classes and programs that could not be offered in more than one building due to several factors.
I am not sure how many people may have been so annoyed with the former redistricting plan that they left the city. However, as you can see the district is still striving and still providing more and more options for our families. I wonder how many of those parents who opposed will offer their opinion as to whether or not they believe it was a success.
I am assuming that most parents who are currently posting on this discussion board did not have a school age child during the time of the prior redistricting and most will not have a child many years from now when there is a possibility of changes again. Schools and school district constantly changes. There are always new mandates, new programs, new services, new administration, new teachers, new principals, new staff, new menus etc, and sometimes the change may mean a new building. School districts will survive. The worst thing for a district to do is to remain stagnant. I believe that some credit should be given to the district for trying to change with the times and to see different options for the children and families. Again the word is option. Of course I realize that there are some forced changes such as Woodlawn students will now attend Oneida. Yet, I find that extremely ironic, because years ago, Woodlawn parents would try to find creative way to get their students to attend Oneida instead of Central Park. I wonder what changed that perception of Oneida as not being a preferred school.
It is my belief that within a few years, the new configuration of the district will be status quo and we will continue to have students who are being successful, and students who require extra help. There will also be families that are happy and families that are not pleased and will move away. At the same time we will continue to have families move in and attend the school to which they are assigned or the magnet school of their choice without being aware of the past configurations. We will continue to be a small urban district with all the issues that comes with it. We will continue to have our students graduate and attend colleges (from the Ivy leagues to our community colleges), they will join the military, they will join the work force and many will return to work for the district. In general, we will continue to provide a first class education to all our students.
Overall, moving a program or redrawing the school lines is never going to make everyone happy. I honestly, believe that it was a well thought out idea that will benefit the students and the community. As I mentioned before, when the redistricting was done many years ago many people thought it was awful and some still feel that way. However, many will admit that it was the best thing for our students, our families and community. Apart from the parents who grew up in Schenectady, most parents are not even aware of the prior configuration. So please stop complaining and give change a chance. For those of you who will decide to move away because of this…..I wish you good luck. For the rest of us lets work to make this transition successful.
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greer



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PostSubject: Central Park safety   Sun 08 Mar 2009, 5:05 pm

The principal was battered twice in the past week- breaking up fights.
This school houses some very tough, street kids.
Will Dr Coffey be able to deal with them?
I hope the district has really thought this through-
Howe has easy access for the little ones to enter the building- CP does not.
The steps are steep and the K-2 graders will have a tough climb.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Sun 08 Mar 2009, 5:16 pm

and when they get older, not all kids can succeed in the large high school environment. My kids have had a great year but we are lucky, can you imagine 2600 adults having to be in a building that size all day? Why o we do it to our kids?
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Mary Kay Fenner



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Sun 08 Mar 2009, 5:51 pm

Get Involved wrote:
Now that the decision has been by the Board Of Education, it is time for all of us to support this initiative and help to make the transition a success for all. I have tried my best to keep up with the discussions here. I am not sure if I have missed it, but I noticed that there were no real input from parents of high school students or parents who were around during the last MAJOR redistricting; specifically when the magnet schools were created and the two high schools were merged into one. I would love to hear the opinions, thoughts and perspective of the parents who were both supporters and opponents of that initiative.
I have a student who graduated two years ago and a current junior at the high school. I was one of the parents who was not necessarily sure about the magnet school idea. I will admit that at the time of that initiative neither of my children were school age. However, I clearly remember the UPROAR within the district. The fight and decisiveness was much more than it is now. However, I believe that our district survived and our students are being successful (regardless of the test scores, there is more to getting an education than what the newspapers report). Anyway, there was immense pressure on the School Board at that time, but they choose what was felt to be the right decision for the district. It was that decision that created Howe Magnet School. The current school that most people think is the best in the district. It was that decision that made it possible for the high school to offer such varied classes, programs and opportunities. Currently, students at the high school can choose from a myriad of options because they are all in the same buildings. There are some classes and programs that could not be offered in more than one building due to several factors.
I am not sure how many people may have been so annoyed with the former redistricting plan that they left the city. However, as you can see the district is still striving and still providing more and more options for our families. I wonder how many of those parents who opposed will offer their opinion as to whether or not they believe it was a success.
I am assuming that most parents who are currently posting on this discussion board did not have a school age child during the time of the prior redistricting and most will not have a child many years from now when there is a possibility of changes again. Schools and school district constantly changes. There are always new mandates, new programs, new services, new administration, new teachers, new principals, new staff, new menus etc, and sometimes the change may mean a new building. School districts will survive. The worst thing for a district to do is to remain stagnant. I believe that some credit should be given to the district for trying to change with the times and to see different options for the children and families. Again the word is option. Of course I realize that there are some forced changes such as Woodlawn students will now attend Oneida. Yet, I find that extremely ironic, because years ago, Woodlawn parents would try to find creative way to get their students to attend Oneida instead of Central Park. I wonder what changed that perception of Oneida as not being a preferred school.
It is my belief that within a few years, the new configuration of the district will be status quo and we will continue to have students who are being successful, and students who require extra help. There will also be families that are happy and families that are not pleased and will move away. At the same time we will continue to have families move in and attend the school to which they are assigned or the magnet school of their choice without being aware of the past configurations. We will continue to be a small urban district with all the issues that comes with it. We will continue to have our students graduate and attend colleges (from the Ivy leagues to our community colleges), they will join the military, they will join the work force and many will return to work for the district. In general, we will continue to provide a first class education to all our students.
Overall, moving a program or redrawing the school lines is never going to make everyone happy. I honestly, believe that it was a well thought out idea that will benefit the students and the community. As I mentioned before, when the redistricting was done many years ago many people thought it was awful and some still feel that way. However, many will admit that it was the best thing for our students, our families and community. Apart from the parents who grew up in Schenectady, most parents are not even aware of the prior configuration. So please stop complaining and give change a chance. For those of you who will decide to move away because of this…..I wish you good luck. For the rest of us lets work to make this transition successful.

Thank you for your in-sight. It is appreciated. While I am in support of the K-8 changes I realize that so much work needs to be done before September with not only this change but at what will still be traditional 'middle " schools. I would like to see the district address what changes can be expected at Oneida and Mont Pleasant? With both King and Howe being K-8 there should be a reduction in the class sizes at each of these schools- which is a beginning but certainly not enough. At the BOE meeting at Mont pleasant Mr. Ely had mentioned some changes that were currently being implemented with both staff and children and he stated that they are seeing improvements, what else can we do? How do other districts approach traditional "middle" schools- espically the ones that are high performing? The Board has so many other issues facing them right now that require immediate attention, we all must continue to be involved .
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Lakishia Martin



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Mon 09 Mar 2009, 5:12 pm

Sandra wrote:
Hello Lakishia,

I am curious, what does this plan mean for your child? How can no one care about how this whole plan affects the Woodlawn parents? How will parents without dependable transportation be able to even attend school events on the opposite side of town? How can a neighborhood build up a community feeling when theiir kids are getting shipped all over? I have not had the chance to meet you yet but pleas edo not give up with expressing your opinions because you can help to make a difference.


thank you Sandra for your concern its too bad you are the only one concerned about my child. My child is currently a fifth grader at Woodlawn and I have one there in Pre-K. This means I enter the lottery and hope my kid gets in. I come from the Albany school district and tried unsuccessfully many times to get into magnet schools. I guess you can say my confidence in the lottery system is not great. My kid will now have to get up even earlier in the morning, travel to the other side of town and go to school with kids he doesn't know or see outside of the school building. If he is lucky maybe he will find a couple of his current classmates with him, maybe not. I consistently hear from the teachers that the kids in Woodlawn, particularly the upper grades, are a great bunch of kids. That has to do with the fact that they all have friendships outside of the school building. They have respect and consideration for each other because they know that if there is a problem my mom is going to go down the street and talk to your mom. These kids learn better because they don't have the same social issues to deal with during the school day as schools that are not neighborhood schools. I never said I was against the k-8 model. I don't know if it will be helpful or not. The problem I have is with how it is getting implemented, the fact that many in the district still don't know about it, and the speed at which this is being done.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Mon 09 Mar 2009, 6:53 pm

Admin:
If this is an inappropriate posting please delete it off the board and accept my apologies in advance.

Lakishia,
I am moving out of the district for a job back in Wisconsin but am going to try to stay connected. Have you ever considered running for school board in the future or if you are not interested, finding another WOodlawn parent to? I cannot even imagine what it will be like for your child next year, 6th grade and no stable support system of friends surrounding him. ALl I can say is good luck.
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Lakishia Martin



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Tue 10 Mar 2009, 9:28 am

Thanks Sandra and I wish you the best in Wisconsin. The subject of running for school board has come up among a few of the parents at Woodlawn.
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butterball



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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Tue 10 Mar 2009, 11:18 am

[quote="Lakishia Martin I consistently hear from the teachers that the kids in Woodlawn, particularly the upper grades, are a great bunch of kids. That has to do with the fact that they all have friendships outside of the school building. They have respect and consideration for each other because they know that if there is a problem my mom is going to go down the street and talk to your mom. These kids learn better because they don't have the same social issues to deal with during the school day as schools that are not neighborhood schools. [/quote]

Lakishia,

I was never in favor of this proposal. I think it was ill concieved and rushed on us because the superintendent underestimated our level of involvement in the lives and education of our kids. The one thing that is clear to me... The reason for all this backlash is beacuse we all are so very involved. We care and want the very best education for our kids. That's also what makes all our kids "a great bunch of kids."

Having said that, I hope you child and mine meet in Oneida, as that is where both our children will be going (if yours doesn't make the lottery.) and I hope they will become friends. I hope you will continue to be involved in your child's education as I will, and I hope we meet and work together to make our kids's education top notch - regardless of where they attend school. I have to believe that it will be our continued involvement (and the involvement of all the other parents in this district) that will make this district great. As long as your children have you in their corner, they'll be fine.
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lafeal



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PostSubject: Hello Lakisha   Tue 10 Mar 2009, 7:11 pm

Lakishia Martin wrote:
Sandra wrote:
Hello Lakishia,

I am curious, what does this plan mean for your child? How can no one care about how this whole plan affects the Woodlawn parents? How will parents without dependable transportation be able to even attend school events on the opposite side of town? How can a neighborhood build up a community feeling when theiir kids are getting shipped all over? I have not had the chance to meet you yet but pleas edo not give up with expressing your opinions because you can help to make a difference.


thank you Sandra for your concern its too bad you are the only one concerned about my child. My child is currently a fifth grader at Woodlawn and I have one there in Pre-K. This means I enter the lottery and hope my kid gets in. I come from the Albany school district and tried unsuccessfully many times to get into magnet schools. I guess you can say my confidence in the lottery system is not great. My kid will now have to get up even earlier in the morning, travel to the other side of town and go to school with kids he doesn't know or see outside of the school building. If he is lucky maybe he will find a couple of his current classmates with him, maybe not. I consistently hear from the teachers that the kids in Woodlawn, particularly the upper grades, are a great bunch of kids. That has to do with the fact that they all have friendships outside of the school building. They have respect and consideration for each other because they know that if there is a problem my mom is going to go down the street and talk to your mom. These kids learn better because they don't have the same social issues to deal with during the school day as schools that are not neighborhood schools. I never said I was against the k-8 model. I don't know if it will be helpful or not. The problem I have is with how it is getting implemented, the fact that many in the district still don't know about it, and the speed at which this is being done.




Hello Lakisha

You put it very nicely and you are right on. A community based school is just that: in the community with community children That was my argument as well. And Children succeed better when people are looking out for them. The part you said about "I'm going to talk to your mom" Teachers are awesome at helping our children learn to succeed, but it's the parents and the community behind that child that makes him/her succeed. We want better! I'm not for the proposal they chose. I hate the fact my child is going to be bussed to Oneida. I graduated 20 years ago from sch'dy. I walked from 1st grade to 12th grade. I just happen to live at that part of town but still If they are basing their K-8 program that it's going to better for the children when they get to the High School. Because of "Community". Then I say What' good for one student in Sch'dy District is good for another. They should go the extra mile and make them all K-8. Redistrict everybody. Schenectady is a big place thou, they don't want to open any more schools.
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sm12



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Join date : 2009-02-06

PostSubject: moving on   Wed 11 Mar 2009, 10:31 am

Involved,

I also want to thank you for that wonderful insight. I too, also realize a lot of work needs to be done, but I also believe that we as adults will work as a team and do whatever needs to be done to make all of the redistricting successfull.
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PostSubject: Re: since proposal being approved   Today at 8:42 am

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since proposal being approved
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