December's School Board Meeting was expectantly somber following the devastating tragedy in Newton, Connecticut All directors were present with the exception of Heidi Adsett.
A moment of silence was observed at the onset of the meeting out of respect for the community and victims of Sandy Hook. Dr. Scanlon reported that he had visited many of the schools that day and was moved by the show of great strength by the teachers in dealing with this traumatic situation. He also expressed his appreciation for the feedback he received from the community about safety in our schools. Thank you to Dr. Scanlon for doing a fabulous job (as always) communicating with the WCASD families as well as the taxpayers. We parents appreciate his consummate leadership and feel very fortunate to have him at the helm of our School District! Superintendent Makes Statement About Shootings, WCASD Superintendent Leaves Holiday Message
The District posted the highlights of the December Board Meeting. All agenda items passed unanimously.
All Committee Reports were light in content or nonexistent because of the upcoming holiday. One item of interest was that Sue Tiernan along with Sean Carpenter dropped in on the Sankofa Academy Charter School for a visit. Apparently the Charter School was not responding to Mrs. Tiernan's calls to make an appointment to tour the facility so they decided to just pop in. Our Board Members observed two classes. There are 52 students in this charter school, 6 from West Chester.
Only a few comments from the public:
One parent from East High School wanted to discuss issues, questions and challenges of the "Bring Your Technology To School" program, but decided to come back in January in light of the larger issues that had recently occurred in Sandy Hook.
Another parent asked for a call to action for more layers of security for our schools. He proposed security guards at each school funded by the parents. See editorial in DLN: Proposes security guard at each school
One teacher recognized the bravery, dedication and self-sacrifice of the teachers of Sandy Hook. She went on to say that she believes many of our board members do not value or respect the teachers in our District. She asked that the Board consider the message they are sending the community with their refusal to negotiate.
Another teacher pointed out that the school board director election would be coming up soon. He has been asking to change from an "at large" system to a regional plan for 3 years with no action.
Speaking of the upcoming primary election, 4 seats will be up for grabs in May. Not sure if any of the incumbents will be running again. Hopefully we will have more choices on the ballot. Please take the time to begin attending these school board meetings so that you are aware of the issues that our District will be facing in the future. We, as a community, need to make sure that we have the right people on our School Board to deal with issues and solve the problems while improving our schools and education for children. Now is the time for all parents to get involved so that we can get the best candidates elected to our School Board. Together, we were able to get 43,000 write in votes in the last school board election. Nowhere has any write in campaign yielded those results, especially considering the campaign was being run by a bunch of parents with no political experience. If we get the right people on the ballot in May, we won't need to do a write in campaign again in November! Please visit www.westchestervote.org to sign up to help. If you are interested in running for school board, read more about how to do it by clicking on this PSBA link: http://www.psba.org/parents-public/board-candidates/how-to-run.asp
We appreciate your support!
For more reading:
Patch 12/3/12: School Board to Reorganize
Patch 12/4/12: WCASD Approves Support Staff Contract
DLN 12/6/12: West Chester schools settles with support staff
DLN 12/28/12: School board’s concerns viewed as skewed, political