Friday, March 7, 2008

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Monday, March 10th, 5:30 p.m. in the PRHS Conference Room - Special Board Meeting and work session to discuss proposed budgeting, programming and staffing for next year.

Monday, March 17th,
4:00 p.m. in the PRHS Upper Library - Special Board Meeting to study and discuss The Worner Report - Organizational Analysis Report – Roger Worner.

7:00 p.m. in the PRHS Upper Library - Regular Monthly Board Meeting to make decisions concerning next years staffing and programming.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the interest the public has in our school system.

Showing up at a school board meeting is great! I think it is even more important that you talk to the school administration prior to coming to the board meeting. The board relies on the recommendations brought to it by the administration. Allowing the administration to hear your concerns, so they can understand them, is very important. It may effect their recommendations to the board.

Don't just show up at the meeting, but do a little homework before you come!

The board does appreciate your input, but sometimes the administration is better equiped to answer your questions.


Don Perrin

Anonymous said...

With regards to the administration's proposals for next year's budget for Pelican Rapids Public Schools, it's pertinent to remember that Viking Elementary School was a 4 & 5 star school under the "No Child Left Behind" program as recently as 2005. For all practical purposes, Viking Elementary has the same make-up of students and same dedicated teachers. It has since, however, been designated a 2-star school due to below minimum proficiency for AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), > academic excellence >school report card >district or school.

The site administrator's recommendation appears to be creating a new district social worker employment and thereby reduce two elementary teacher positions resulting in:

-increased class sizes from 18 students for the present second graders to 24 students per class for next year's 3rd grade classrooms.

-increased class sizes from 20 students for the present fourth graders to 26+ students per class for next year's 5th grade classrooms.

Third grade is a crucial year for learning; and at the risk of generalizing, it's been stated that next year's fifth grade has a notable representation of academically in-need students.

Be cautious in comparing any neighboring elementary school's class sizes with Viking Elementary's. It's not a simple "apples-to-apples" comparison without underscoring the student diversity data. Similarly, we should be leaders not followers.

Are we to consider the new social worker position - with the resulting sacrifice towards larger class sizes - as a responsible approach given Viking Elementary's AYP status? The proposed social worker's $53,000 salary would go a long way in teacher salaries. I think these are fair questions for ALL decision-makers to field and independently address.

Anonymous said...

Is a cut really a cut?
Looking at the proposed General Fund budget cuts:
- Is reducing a 4.75 para on the cut side and adding a study hall para a cut in the general fund? It looks to me like it is an addition and just a change in personnel.
- Is the AD cut really a cut in general fund spending? Someone has to do the job and the pay will probably be the same, whether it is added to the AD/AP position or remains on its own. Could the AD position be added to an existing staff salary to save a teaching job?
- Is there a job description for the social worker? Will the social worker work with families after school hours? Problems begin at home, not in school. The social worker monies could be better spent in reducing class size.