Petition to Stamford Board of Education
Keep Mrs. Kelley at Stillmeadow!
During Dr. Michael Sanders' tenure, Stillmeadow became one of the highest-performing elementary schools in Stamford. Today, Stillmeadow is widely known as a warm, safe, and inclusive community with high expectations for student performance. Who will be entrusted with Stillmeadow's future? For many members of the Stillmeadow Community, the answer to that question is Kathleen Kelley. Mrs. Kelley has been an integral part of Stillmeadow since 1989, first as an award-winning teacher and for the last three years as the school's administrative intern. As administrative intern, she has been entrusted with decision-making authority on a wide range of academic and operational issues. Time and again, she has demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond for the Stillmeadow community. For instance: Stillmeadow has had three assistant principals in the last four years, only one of which joined Stillmeadow through a formal interview process. The Stillmeadow community was able to adapt to these frequent changes due to Mrs. Kelley’s consistent leadership. In May and June 2016, Stillmeadow did not have an assistant principal. Mrs. Kelley assumed the duties of assistant principal without additional compensation because she is invested in Stillmeadow and wants the best for its students and educators. In the three years that Mrs. Kelley has been the administrative intern, she has attended every after-school event, where she personally connects with families and thanks them for supporting our school. No other Stillmeadow administrator attended every event in a single year, let alone every event in the last three. To most families, Mrs. Kelley is the face of Stillmeadow. We recently learned that district officials are planning to recommend another finalist as their choice to be Stillmeadow’s next principal. This could mean starting the 2017-18 school year with an administrative team that is largely unfamiliar with Stillmeadow and its families. After nearly a quarter-century of stability and continuity, we are concerned about the effect this will have on our school community. As members of the Stillmeadow Community, we are appealing to the Board of Education to answer the following questions: Why didn't district officials communicate with families when Dr. Sanders informed the district in late January that he was retiring? (Most parents learned about Dr. Sanders’ retirement via a March 3 story in the Stamford Advocate.) Why didn’t the district offer Stillmeadow Families a forum to solicit feedback, such as the one afforded to families at Westhill High School? By the time Superintendent Kim addressed families at a PFO meeting on March 30, the first two rounds of the interview process had been completed. Did the district take into consideration the many letters of recommendation for Mrs. Kelley that were submitted by current Stillmeadow families? Anyone who has spent time at Stillmeadow knows that Mrs. Kelley is the true heart and soul of our school. Please find a way to keep Mrs. Kelley at Stillmeadow in a position that offers her the professional advancement she so richly deserves and that will benefit our entire school community in the years ahead.
Petition to Goldie Harrison, Pat Hynes, Tom Wilson, Tom Casey, Catherine Hudgins, Frank De La Fe, Lee Ann Pender, Jeff Platenberg
Stop Plans to Erect a Cell Tower at Crossfield Elementary School
This petition has been reopened in response to a new 2016 application to construct a cellular communications tower at Crossfield Elementary School. The 2013 application was withdrawn after the community voiced its opposition. The cell tower proposed for Crossfield Elementary is not needed – a ‘significant gap in coverage’ does not exist in this area, as defined by Federal requirements. Eighty-two (82) towers are active within a 4-mile radius of the site – and the poor cell reception within the school and in nearby homes can be fixed with inexpensive signal boosters. Find a different place to put this tower! We, the local residents and school parents, DO NOT want it.
Petition to CITY OF SANTA CLARITA, Santa Clarita Elementary, Arroyo Seco Junior Highschool, Saugus Residents
Crossing Guard for Seco Canyon Rd and Guadilamar Dr.
We are writing this letter as concerned parents to kindly propose that a crossing guard be placed at the intersection of Seco Canyon Road and Guadilamar Dr. It is a very busy four-lane road that the children have to cross. There are many children that currently cross this intersection who attend Santa Clarita Elementary, not to mention students from the Arroyo Seco junior highschool. We have attached a list of several Santa Clarita Elementary parents who have children that cross at this intersection and they are all very supportive of obtaining a crossing guard. Many of these parents currently drive their children because of this particular intersection. A crossing guard at this location would provide a sense of safety and allow those children to walk to and from school. Having the children walk to and from school will also help solve the problem of a crowded parking lot at Santa Clarita Elementary as well as would promote physical activity for the youth and is far better for the environment. Thank you for considering our request for a crossing guard at Seco Canyon Road and Guadilamar Dr. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Guadilamar+Dr+%26+Seco+Canyon+Rd,+Santa+Clarita,+CAemail@example.com,-118.5347366,3a,75y,125.9h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sEimUi8WsD3mOAqgvVoxD9A!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DEimUi8WsD3mOAqgvVoxD9A%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D86%26h%3D86%26yaw%3D125.89757%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c27d80488ff8c7:0xb5311a0b42dc515d!8m2!3d34.4461828!4d-118.5347959
Petition to Monrovia Board of Education
Reduce Class Size in Monrovia Elementary Schools
We, the parents of students in the Monrovia School District call on the Monrovia Board of Education to prioritize class-size reduction in MUSD elementary schools, in all grades, going forward. The research supports what we parents have personally witnessed this past year: Class size matters. The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the US Department of Education, concludes that class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement through rigorous, randomized experiments -- the "gold standard" of research. Even the finest teachers are limited in what they can do when they have large classes. Further, we believe that: Small class size provides teachers a better opportunity to identify at risk students, and provide more individualized instruction. Small class size decreases disruption, distractions, and behavioral issues, giving teachers more time for instruction, and more time for socio-emotional support and interventions. Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes, and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, lowering class sizes will ameliorate student outcomes. Large class size inhibits our ability to integrate rigorous new curriculum and time-consuming best-practices into our classrooms. The payoff from class-size reduction is greater for low-income and minority children, while any increases in class size will likely be most harmful to these populations. The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long-run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future. The Monrovia Board of Education should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds. While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall. Thus, we implore the Board of Education to cap all classes in MUSD elementary schools at 25 students, including in grades four and five, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year and, further, to keep all classes single-grade, unless there are two teachers assigned to the classroom.  U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, “Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: a User Friendly Guide,” December 2003 at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/rigorousevid/rigorousevid.pdf
Petition to Dr. James Lee, Janice Moore
Keep Aire Libre Elementary School Open
On February 9, 2018, Janice Moore, Aire Libre Elementary School Principal, sent out an email informing parents and students that they would be “repurposing” the school – meaning current students and staff would be sent to other elementary schools. They plan to send regular education students and staff to Campo Bello Elementary. This decision was brought about due to a decline in enrollment, with a predicted loss of 25 students over the next 5 years. Aire Libre Elementary School recently received a rating of “B+” – just one growth point shy from being rated an “A.” Campo Bello is currently rated a “B,” and Echo Mountain and Palomino are both rated “C.” Our teachers and staff have really brought ALES students to a level that competes educationally with neighboring schools in the district. Furthermore, these neighboring schools have a higher number of students enrolled, especially Palomino with almost 1,200 students. With that many students, why can’t we offer to bring some to our wonderful ALES? Our school is also one of the few in the immediate vicinity to offer a specialized Autism Program, as an “Everybody Matters” school. Along with a decline in enrollment and not meeting an “A” rating, it has been stated that every year, Aire Libre Elementary School costs the district $500,000; yet, they’ll be closing our doors and spending $13 million on a brand new building for students that has yet to be identified. What happened to “everybody matters?" We ask that you join teachers, parents, and fellow neighbors this Tuesday, February 20, at 6:30PM in the Aire Libre Elementary School cafeteria and help us keep ALES open for our children!