At the EMID Board meeting last night (24 August) the board actively considered shutting down EMID schools after the 2011-2012 school year finishes. A couple parents were at the meeting and the board did pull back from the brink, but this is still a very real threat to our schools. Read more about the meeting below, in a note that Susan Larson sent to our mailing list. We will, of course, post updates on EMID Families!
This evening Mike Boguszewski and I attended the EMID Board work session that preceded the monthly Board meeting. The focus of this session was to continue discussion that occurred at a recent Board strategic planning session. The need for this discussion resulted from the outcome of this year’s legislative session. The final legislative decision was that the Commissioner of Education would form a task force to provide a recommendation around integration funding to the legislature. This task force is in the process of being formed and must have final recommendations by February 15. The EMID Board has taken the position that they want to be proactive in responding to legislative changes.
EMID recently went through a strategic planning process that was conducted by an outside consultant and involved gaining input from member districts, Crosswinds/Harambee staff, and parents. Based on the information gathered a final report with recommendations was prepared by the consultant. This report will be made available on the EMID website and when it is available I will send an e-mail to this list. The report listed three plans for consideration as follows:
- maintain Harambee and Crosswinds in their current form
- have an outside agency assume Crosswinds and Harambee (I believe this means turn them into Charter schools)
- close Crosswinds and Harambee
The Board had a very thorough and thoughtful discussion during which many statements were made demonstrating compassion for current EMID families. No decision was made and the Board will continue this discussion at the meeting on September 24. Mike spoke during the open forum section. He did a great job of articulating the value of EMID schools for families. He also encouraged the Board to increase communication to families during this process. He closed by reminding the Board members that they are the advocates for the parents and kids of this district.
We knew when the legislature began debating integration funding that we were facing an uncertain future. We are fortunate to have a window of time to come together as a community to talk about how we engage in this process to ensure our experiences and viewpoints are heard. Mike and I will be at the back to school night next Thursday to provide information about this to families and encourage them to get involved. If anyone else is available to help at the Site Council table, please join us.
I would also encourage all of us to work together to strengthen our Site Council. My hope is that we can make this year the best one yet for our children while advocating for the future of the schools we have grown to love.