Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council Meeting tonight (Weds)

Tonight (Weds October 1) is Superintendent McHenry's Parent Advisory Council meeting. This meeting takes place once a month at the Dent Center, in the Board Room. All are welcome at these meetings, not just the parent reps for their schools. With all the news of IRS penalties, contract negotiations, budgeting and more - will you be there?

Here is the information from the Superintendent's office about these meetings (the underline is mine for clarity):

PAC reps are an important link for sharing the information discussed at the monthly meetings with parents and other members of your school community. Each meeting is an opportunity for parents to meet with senior District staff, raise issues of concern, ask questions, learn about District programs and practices, and provide valuable information and opinions of their own. Membership on the council and attendance at its meetings are voluntary. Anyone—parent who is not a rep, employee, community member—is welcome to attend any meeting. Discussions are often lively and always informative for everyone involved.

PAC meetings are the first Wednesday of the month, 7-9 p.m. in the Board Room. Here’s the schedule for 2008-09:

September 3
October 1
November 5
December 3
January 7
February 4
March 4
April 1
May 6
June 3


  1. Thank you for posting this. I was under the impression that you had to be the official parent rep from the school in order to attend.

    How was tonight's meeting?

  2. It was interesting as a first time attendee. Not knowing the tone or format, I observed. Topics ranged from student assessments, organization charts and school scores to budget cuts and discussion of the various pathways and academies at the various high schools. I learned that for next year (2009-2010) there may be up to another 11 million in cuts needed. Seemed there was still a lot of work on that to be done, but preliminarily that was what was discussed. I didn't even know about the wide array of academy and pathway offerings at the various schools. I knew of a few, but the suggestion was that the district should do more to promote and announce these programs (I wasn't the only one that had a hard time in the past finding out about these programs thru the website, etc). Then discussion ensued about the differing bell schedules across schools which precludes kids from taking (as an example) their regular academic load at their "home" school then driving/going to another school for ROP or academy offerings.

    So anyway, I'll structure more if anyone is interested.

    Oh , the question was asked why not everyone received the Sup's memo about the IRS penalties and it was noted that it was the Monday Memo list Sue used to send it out.. and she didn't know why some wouldn't have received it.

    As far as attendees... it seemed a nice turn out. For the district in addition to McHenry and Sue Berg, was Rose Lock, Alan Young, Gail Isserman (I think I'm forgetting someone) and for board members Linda Mayo, Paul Strange and April Treece. Candidate Sherry Whitmarsh was there too.

  3. Thanks for the report Cathy. The Academys are great programs. When our daughter was in middle school they did absolutely no "advertising" of the ones at CVHS. We found out about the art academy the day before applications were due. She did apply for the Public Service Academy and is in it this year her sophmore year and is enjoying it. The teachers are great. The Academys are wonderful, great programs in the district. They definitely need to find a better way to tell parents about them. Seems like a simple thing to me.

  4. Interesting that parents did not have questions regarding the ongoing mess. Thanks for going, Cathy.

  5. I understand the budget crisis and I have one question I am afraid to ask... It seems to me the district throws a limitless amount of money at ESL students some of which are not even citizens. Is the reason we dont require proof of citizenship to keep enrollment up? I find this issue extremely frustrating on so many levels. When I was a foreign exchange student my mom recieved a bill for the education I recieved in France. Yet we educate EVERYONE and drain our resources to the point that American born students pay the price. I think my special needs child would be better off if I trained english out of him and taught him a foreign language and that I find truly pathetic.

  6. Hi Anon 9:43

    I too asked this question years ago. It is my understanding that the programs for ESL students are mandated and funds from the State and Federal Government can only be used for these programs (restricted). The "No Child Left Behind" requires the ESL to become fluent and take the same tests. It is not up to the school and districts to determine citizenship status. I believe they are not allowed to ask! I was and am concerned with how many students go back and forth between Mexico and here. These students are only required to have a TB test upon admittance to school. They should be tested every 3 years since TB is increasing and TB can be drug resistant, very frightening to me.

    I too was an exchange student and my parents paid a fee for me to spend a year abroad. This fee was for housing, airfare and a monthly allowence (AFS 31 years ago).

    My student is at a high school that has a fair number of ESL students and his education has not suffered at all. Actually it has improved, he has many diverse friends and is able to commuicate in Spanish quite well. He is in pre honors classes and is very challenged.

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