School Board Timeline; It's Time to Speak!
Apr 25, 2016 — Hello Challenge Supporters,
Here's a quick update on the Middle School Grade Reconfiguration Task Force meeting this past Monday evening. (Full Meeting notes can be found on our website.)There were 2 major developments discussed:
1. The task force has postponed the first reading of the challenge vote until the board meeting on May 10th, with second/ final reading and board action on May 24th. (In my opinion, the district is pushing this off in hopes that the community loses interest and momentum. Don't let that happen!) A school board study session on the challenge issue has been added on April 26th at 5:30pm. Please attend these meetings! We want to fill the room with supporters on all of these dates. If you need to prioritize, we recommend attending on May 24 at 7 pm since the School Board are voting that night. But either Apr 26 at 7 pm or May 10 at 4pm would be great if May 24 doesn't work for you. We would also like to have as many people as possible attend the School Board Study Session April 26th at 5:30 pm.
So, attend as many board meetings as you can, bring your children, bring your neighbors, and have everyone speak, even if they only say "Hi my name is ___ and I'm here in support of the self select Challenge Program." To speak, sign the clipboard on the table at the back of the room before the board meeting starts. You will be called to the mic during the public comments section. You have 3 minutes to speak. Say as little or as much as you prefer.
2. The Task Force voted on each academic model with a yes/no vote. Math path was not included here, but the last time they discussed it in a subcommittee meeting they recommended test-in only for math acceleration. All votes were for ELA, science and social studies. These are the results to be presented to the school board:
Option 1 "Challenge for all" - Heterogeneous classrooms with no self select challenge = 13 yes votes, 2 no votes.
Option 2 Self select challenge in grades 6-8= 3 yes votes, 12 no votes.
Option 3 self select challenge in grades 7-8 with no self select for 6th grade = 7 yes votes, 8 no votes.
Option 4 "Challenge for all" with an opt out= 5 yes votes, 10 no votes.
To summarize: the Task Force will recommend the elimination of the self select challenge program to the school board having had no discussions about public comments, the districts survey, the save our challenge petition with over 1300 signatures or any discussion of data or literature contrary to what is stated in the AMLE book.
We need to make sure the school board knows how we feel about this and how much we support the self select challenge program as an equitable option for motivated students who either don't test well, were unable to test at all or can't manage transportation to an AAP school.
The school board may choose ANY of the 4 options above, however!
Please attend a board meeting (or 3) and write to the school board members to encourage them to vote for the option that will Save Our Challenge program! I have heard a rumor that the school board has not yet received many emails from the community about the Challenge issue. Please send an email to them today!
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