Monthly Archives: February 2008

Caucus, CPRC and school organization

A caucus meeting, the CPRC meeting and then School Org last night – with Material Resources and a McCaig Governing Board tonight, is there really a question that a commissioner invests time?

Ok, so we’ll agree on time. Is the time of any value? I came into this wondering if it was. So far, I have seen important, reasoned debate. Questions, answers and actual positive steps.

I have also seen things that I believe need to change.

As far as Governance goes, I am participating in something that I believe is working – sometimes too slowly; sometimes going in what I think is the wrong direction, but overall, it’s working.

Reform is needed. But, there may be a lot more going on here than many people realize.

Truly,

Steve

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School organization meeting

Tonight’s meeting looked at many things. The deeds of establishment, with enrollment and 3 year projections too – interesting demographical change, and quite a challenge for the Government and our school organization department to project our anglophone population.

“Functional Capacity” of a school. I’m looking to know more of how we define this. My experience at McCaig Elementary was that the school has been slightly over its “functional capacity” – but – in my time there, we never did manage to get the Government recommended weekly gymnasium time for our children – part of the answer to this is a six day cycle and holding gym classes in our cafeteria. Does this really qualify as “functional”?

Next – growth by advertising. Yes, we need to make sure our schools survive. Obviously.

But I believe that the primary focus has to be that by offering a fantastic education, by offering smaller class sizes with excellent teachers and an environment that is a cut above the rest., that our growth will be greater and our long term survival will be assured.

We need to address the present. We need to think in terms of the present. We need a sense of urgency that drives us to deliver smaller classes and the best in class of teachers. Appropriate technology developing the skills our children need. Today.

Plan for the long term. But develop and implement strategies *today* that have our schools be Best In Class right now. As much as we need to be there tomorrow, we need to be offering the very best to our existing clientele *today*.

Did I write “today” enough times? 🙂

Truly,

Steve

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CPRC, websites

The CPRC committee is still fun. The designs that they are coming out with are some of the best I have seen. It’s PR & Communications – the way something looks is important! And I continue to be impressed.

The question of our upcoming revamped website – again. I mentioned this weeks ago, and my concern hs only deepened. This is a part of my field, and I know it well. I don’t like the way this was tendered and awarded. I am concerned about the definition of what we are purchasing.

I am not seeing any real benefit still. We shall see. More to come.

Truly,

Steve

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Educational Services meeting

The Educational Services Committee meeting. I am not a member of this committee, but all commissioners are invited to go to any and all standing committee meetings. Even the Executive committee meetings are open, though I have yet to go to one.

This committee is the big surprise for me. When I was first reading about and looking into the various committees, this may have been the one I thought was furthest from my immediate interest.

And it’s turning out to be one of the most satisfying. Some real work is done here on what should be our primary goal – education, pure and simple.

It’s funny how the question of ‘behavioral expectations’ is touching on so many committees – but here, of course, it is front and center. Even though I am perhaps ‘old school’ in my thinking of how respect should be a basic and foundational requirement before anything can move forward, I am also keenly aware of the fact that we need to do it right – or we may end up three steps back from where we are starting.

We had some stats on in-school suspensions vs. overall suspensions, brought back from a question in last month’s meeting – interesting to look at, perhaps because it is one of the only ‘pure measures’ we can evaluate. The trick is going to be to develop a measure that qualifies an almost etheral ‘overall feeling’ in a school.

I have no idea how this can be done. But – just knowing how many kids are being tossed for bad behavior and even having deeper information on suspensions is not going to drive us to a real evaluation of a school’s cultural change in building greater respect.

It’s a feeling and an understanding; a spirit, perhaps.

How do you measure *that*?!?

I had only 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes that I should have stayed at this meeting. I ended up leaving at 9:45 – it’s a great committee with a fantastic Director.

Truly,

Steve

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