Should Valparaiso schools go the way of most other school systems and elect their board?
Today's article in the Times suggests some public input meetings, and an interesting side note that teachers don't feel they can comment for fear of some kind of retribution, from whom? From administration?
BY BRIAN WILLIAMS
219.548.4348 | Sunday, September 21, 2008 |
The School Board on Tuesday released the final report of the community task force that met through the spring to consider future directions for Valparaiso Community Schools.
The report is available online and in hard copy at all city schools and the schools administration building. It is also at the Valparaiso Public Library, the Valparaiso University library, the Village Park Enrichment Center at Banta and City Hall.
"Neighborhood conversations" will be held at each of the elementary schools starting Oct. 1 at Parkview Elementary School. The School Board will present background information from the report and then solicit public reaction.
Each meeting is open to all residents, board President James Bernard said.
All meetings will start at 7 p.m. A further meeting also may be held at City Hall.
The task force's proposal for consideration by the School Board and administration calls for replacing three existing elementaries with two new sister schools, replacing the high school pool and updating its auditorium between 2009 and 2014 at an estimated cost of $65 million. In a second phase to 2020, two further sister schools would replace four remaining older elementaries at an unspecified cost.
Bernard said the board would be ready to discuss the substantive matters in the report and public reaction in early 2009.
School parent Christopher Pupillo urged the board to make sure the process is open to teachers' participation. Pupillo said almost two dozen teachers had told him they would not speak on the issue for fear of retribution. Pupillo said he didn't know if the fear was merely a matter of perception, but he said the community needs teachers' voices on the issue.
School Board member Mary Idstein said teachers could e-mail her comments, which she would hold in confidence.
For the report and a complete list of meeting dates, visit www.valpo.k12.in.us.