If you missed last nights Community Conversation hosted by Superintendent Moccia, I have provided a brief recap (though I am no reporter)…
Superintendent Moccia addressed the group, as well as several other administrative staff. The District has created a list of what kids need to have mastered to be career and college ready. It’s not just about mastering math, science, writing etc. Work skills, such as collaboration, are as important as academic skills. This is a change from when a lot of parents were in school. (The lists of these attributes will be included in last nights slide show available soon on the district website.) Dan Poolman, Executive Director of Business and Operations, talked details about the districts financial situation, currently as well as historically and estimates/projections for the future. It is helpful to understand this portion of the whole picture to be able to give thoughtful and productive suggestions about what/how things might improve for the future. In a nut shell: students drive our funding, a fund balance is necessary to run this district for a variety of reasons, primarily cash flow, and proportional reductions were made in conjunction with lower enrollment and lower funding, over the past eight to ten years.
“We must change what, when, and how we teach to give all children maximum opportunity to thrive in a post-industrial society. But educators cannot do this alone; these changes can occur only with the understanding, trust, permission, and active support of the surrounding community. For the most important thing I have learned is that schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve, and therefore, to improve public education means more than changing our schools, it means changing America.” Copyright 2011 Jamie Robert Vollmer
Staff have begun the critical process of focussing on programs at our district. The first step of creating a matrix of current programs has been completed and was shared with the group. A copy of the matrix is available on the district website: home page then click on “Community Conversations” to the right under “headlines”. This matrix lists the subject area, the state requirement, the SWSD board policy, offerings, and comments. Dr. Moccia intends to focus on programs before focusing on buildings.
The last portion of the meeting was used for questions. The audience asked questions, that were then written down, to be address at the next meeting, which will be held on 3/21. The next two Community Conversations will focus more on dialog and inquiry between Dr. Moccia and the community.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the District’s Service Center at 221-6100. Hopefully you will be able to attend a future conversation: 3/21 & 4/18. This is, after all, a community invested project!Shelly Ackerman LMS PTSA President