3 top issues – Thurs, June 23, 2011 Carbondale Elem District 95 School Board Meeting

This will be the first of many observations I will be giving concerning the upcoming School Board meetings. 

First of all – all members of the public are free to attend and encouraged to do so. The time and location will be 7:00pm at the CES95 Administrative Center at 925 S Giant City Rd. Carbondale.

There are three important things to learn concerning the June 23, 2011 agenda:

(1) Memorandum of Understanding between Carbondale Elementary School District No. 95 and The Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University on behalf of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures 
Each year graduate students come to the school to teach students a foreign language, usually Spanish.   This is a great benefit to student learning.  I’d like to see some of our seasoned teachers do a workshop to introduce these grad assistents to teaching in the “classroom”. 

Classroom control is a must for the teacher and for the budding foreign language students.

I’ve spoken with parents recently who love this program and would also love to see other options like German or Latin offered. 

(2) Action of the Title 1 Parent Involvement Policies

These are foundational and can be found online. Dist 95 Parent Involvement Policy. The policies have been created with parent’s input.  Children need their parents and staff needs parents that care. We can give that to them.

There are many ways parents can be involved.  Parents can have input into parent involvement expenditures. A concern is that dollar expenditures for parent involvement in the schools have decreased while the budget still outlines a healthy 1% which is about $9,000. For instance last year the budget dropped to about 2/3 of this expenditure.

Schools need good parent involvement.

(3) Citizens Comments are in Jeopardy
The School Board minutes no longer records citizen input although it still takes place during the section listed under “Audience Comments”.  I believe this is an intrusion on the rights of the public to know of the business of the public body. The City of Carbondale during Council meetings respects citizens comments by including a healthy summery into the public record.   See the June 7 City Council Minutes for example.

The City of Carbondale was selected as winner of National Award by Sunshine Review (read story).

The Board took a straw pole during the May meeting (with me as the lone dissenter), eliminating the public record of citizen comments for the time being. 

I’d like to see us be a partner with Carbondale in keeping this designation.

List of Board Member’s Committee Appointments:
Policy Committee,  Chairperson- Roger Pfister, Board Member – Amy Erickson 
Finance Committee, Chairperson – Paula Feigenbaum, Board Member -John Major   
Public Relations Committee,  Chairperson – Andrea Rendleman, Board Member – Amy Erickson
Negotiations Committee ChairpersonRoger Pfister, Board Member – John Major, Board Member – David Biggs
Land & Building Committee, Chairperson – David Biggs, Board Member – Paula Feigenbaum
Personnel & Recruitment Committee, Chairperson – Elizabeth I. LewinBoard Member – Andrea Rendleman
Transportation Committee, Chairperson – John Major, Board Member – David Biggs

To note, as with other Board Members, after the first year I should have my own committee.

We all have a lot to look forward to.

You may contact me by email at aericks11@yahoo.com.



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