The April 25th School Board Committee meetings continued long into the night, concluding around Midnight. This was not really a surprise, given the jam-packed agendas. A total of 11 complicated, far-reaching items needed to be presented by central administration and then discussed by the school board. Comments and questions from the public were accepted, but for the Education and Policy Committee meeting, the public was asked to limit these to three minutes per speaker.
Out of Order?
Most of the agenda items were interconnected. Almost all hinged on the results of a Facilities Study. The hitch? That study isn’t completed yet, and won’t be completed until at least June. Maybe July. An added oddity? The Elementary Schedule, a critical piece in a complicated puzzle that presumes staffing reductions, program tradeoffs and increased class sizes – impacting almost every agenda item that went before it – was presented last.
It was unclear to the public what the outcomes were for almost all of the agenda items. It seemed most are moving forward for a vote at the May 10th meeting. Links to the agenda items are available here: http://www.upperdarbysd.org/item/19840-school-board-committee-meetings-april-25th
Which School Does Your Neighborhood Attend?
The only agenda item that was clearly tabled by the School Board, by a vote of 5-2, and only until the Facilities Study is completed, was a proposed Pilot Program that would allow administration to assign any student at the elementary level to any elementary school in the entire school district. Although this would affect new registrations, it was unclear how this would affect families at re-registration points along the school trajectory. For example, for the 2016-2017 Academic Year, the district is asking all incoming third graders to re-register. It was clear, however, that all real estate listings would have to be changed to reflect the fact that homes would no longer be within a fixed catchment area.
Make plans to attend the May 10th School Board meeting. Decisions are being made that night that will impact the entire future of the community. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Although the public can comment after any report is presented – when asked, “Any comments from the public,” quickly make your way to the microphone, you must sign in by 7:20 p.m. to preserve your right to offer public comment at the end of the meeting.