The Annual PTA Staff Appreciation Cookie Carry is Friday, Dec. 13th. This is a perfect way to volunteer without a huge time commitment and to show our staff how much we appreciate them! Just bake a few batches of your favorite cookies and deliver them to the staff lounge; families may drop off cookies in the staff lounge from 3:45-6pm on Thursday, December 12th or from 7-11am on Friday, December 13th.
Please package cookies in non-breakable, airtight containers and attach a copy of the recipe. If you need your containers returned, please label both top and bottom with your student’s full name, grade and homeroom teacher.
Two quick updates:
I had hoped that additional PTAs would sign on, but it’s become clear that *many* school communities not immediately impacted by APS’s two proposals are only beginning to educate themselves about what’s going on, and hence many felt it was too early for them to sign on. Nevertheless, I hope the letter will make an impression on the School Board, and I plan to speak at the Dec 19 School Board meeting to underscore the importance of better data and a better process.
I know that many of you are reaching out to APS and School Board members individually, and I encourage you to drive home the points that we see serious flaws in both the data and process, and we are alarmed that it will yield poor results for the county (not just for McKinley). More on this when we meet this Thursday.
On Dec. 2, I (PTA President Mary Kadera) attended a meeting organized by APS for PTA Presidents as well as leaders of CCPTA and SEPTA. Video of the meeting is archived on the Engage website, but my CliffsNotes version follows here:
Here are some of the questions that got asked and responses given (paraphrased):
I countered with the statement, “But I am just talking about K-5 data for now. It would seem like school moves should get you at least *part way* to your goal of eliminating excess capacity in the NW part of the county. So, instead of 116 extra seats, school moves should help you get closer to zero. Instead, it pushes this number upwards of 300.”
APS answered that we shouldn’t give too much weight to the numbers in the “Analysis of Students Moving” chart because things would get balanced out in the subsequent boundary change phase of the process.
It sounded very much like a work in progress with a pledge to “do things better” for special education populations. APS held out the possibility of administrative transfers that would allow some special education students to stay in their current schools, but Kathleen responded that this would be a difficult decision for families (following friends to a new school, or staying in the building you know…)
Friends, this really worries me.
All along I’ve said that it’s the PTA’s job to ensure that 1) families have information about what’s coming and how to engage; 2) APS decisions are based on good data; and 3) APS is using a process that is fair and transparent.
Based on everything we’ve seen over the past month, I believe it’s vital for our PTA, and all others, to raise the alarm about the data and process. We’ll talk more about this on Thursday night.
Light Up the Holidays is back! Through December 13, select a gift tag from the bulletin board in the front lobby. Each tag contains an item requested by a family or child in our area. Please take a tag, purchase the gift, ATTACH THE TAG SECURELY TO THE GIFT, and drop it back off UNWRAPPED in the box below the bulletin board. Easy-peasy!
Please remind children that they should not take a tag without permission from a parent/guardian. We’re accountable for purchasing these items and need all tags to come back attached to a gift.
View more program details here.
Dates for Your Calendar:
Other Actions Taken: