Just got the following somewhat cryptic press release from the CHCCSS. As usualy I had to download an open a Word doucment and get more than halfway through it before I could even figure out what the topic is ("Enrollment Levels at Glenwood Elementary School").To learn more about this issue, see the recent Indy story: Redistricting Rankling Carrboro Parents.
I can theoretically understand the value of this type of meeting, but it's hard not to feel like the schools would prefer that most of us are seen and not heard.
6:00 p.m. - Monday, December 2 - East Chapel Hill High
Chapel Hill, NC - The goals, vision, and strategies of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) long range plan are rooted in a set of guiding principles. These guiding principles were crafted after significant input from staff, parents, community, and students. One of those principles reads "We believe in a culture that promotes collaboration, civility, mutual trust, and community partnerships."
In support of that belief, the administration of the CHCCS will be initiating focused dialogues in an effort to engage parents in meaningful conversations on important issues that impact our schools. Furthermore, it is our intent to provide parent representatives with accurate information about current initiatives. The PTA Council offered a number of suggestions regarding the make-up of these dialogue groups.
In order to maintain a workable group, it has been suggested that for an elementary school issue, for example, no more than four individuals from each school will be selected. At least one representative should come from the School Improvement Team and one from the PTA. Depending on the issue, a faculty representative may also be included. Other parent representatives would be selected from the general school community. All parents and community members are welcome to attend as there will be an opportunity for those who are not at the discussion tables to share input electronically.
"The focused dialogue model has been used in other school districts with tremendous success," said Superintendent Tom Forcella. "Parents and community members have an opportunity to discuss issues in greater depth and collaborate on recommendations."
A pilot focused parent dialogue will be conducted on the topic, "Enrollment Levels at Glenwood Elementary School." All elementary schools are asked to participate as potential solutions could ultimately impact some or all elementary schools. The event is set for 6:00 p.m. on December 2, 2013, in the East Chapel Hill High Commons.
This particular topic generated significant input from parents at the November 7, 2013 Board of Education meeting and is not slated to come back to the Board until January. The December 2 focused dialogue will provide sufficient time for the administration to combine the input from this session with other available information in order to make a recommendation to the Board of Education.
It is important to know that the parent dialogue is not meant to keep people out, but rather to invite a more representative parent voice in the decision-making process. As always, parents may utilize all the existing communication avenues such as email and public comment to voice their opinion. The parent dialogues simply add another layer to the conversation.
Thank you for your consideration as we attempt to improve communications with parents and community.