I’d love to use this blog as a way to hear some thoughts about issues that appear on our board agenda. The agenda for this coming week’s meeting is here. Among other things, we will be discussing:
The bell schedule. The district changed the bell schedule this year, extending the elementary school day and adjusting the daily start and end times for all students. I was against the change and, especially given some of the unintended consequences we have experienced (for example, with bus schedules), am strongly inclined to revisit it. My fellow director Lori Roetlin, who also wants to revisit the issue, has written a letter explaining her thoughts about how we should move forward with the issue. What are your thoughts?
The possibility of buying into ThoughtExchange, an online platform for gathering and aggregating public input on school issues. I have some initial thoughts about this issue that I’ll try to post separately. You can read about ThoughtExchange (or at least see advertisements for it) by clicking on the links and PDFs here. The service would cost $170,000 over five years. Your thoughts on ThoughtExchange?
The preliminary report about this year’s class sizes. You can read the report here. I’ve heard a lot of concern about our class sizes this year. Chime in if you have thoughts on the issue.
You may find something else in the agenda that catches your eye. Feel free to post a comment.
UPDATE, 10-29: Thanks, everyone, for the terrific comments. I’ve had less time the past couple of days to respond individually—as will inevitably happen here—but I always read the comments and I really value the input. At our Tuesday night meeting, we voted unanimously to adopt Director Lori Roetlin’s proposal to set up a task force to examine the bell schedule and make recommendations. The proposal is designed to get the process going soon there will be plenty of time to get input from the community before any decision gets made.
We also heard a presentation from the ThoughtExchange vendor and discussed the service at some length, but we did not vote on it. Some of my fellow board members are very supportive of the proposal, while others want more information about alternatives, while others (including me) are pretty skeptical, so the discussion will continue at a future meeting.
The board president summarized our clarification of the threat protocol that occurred at last week’s work session, and the issue will go to board committees for further discussion. The class size report focused (as I would have expected) on the shortage of supplemental state aid and on the district’s choices about how to put available funding to the best use.