Wednesday, January 30, 2008

LA Parents Union Petition

Hello Friends of Glenfeliz parents,

It's been a while but I have a project for some people if they want to help.

Many of the graduating 5th graders from Glenfeliz Elementary will be going to Thomas Star King Middle School next year. And when our kids are old enough that is where they will most likely be going as well. The problem is King is overcrowded to the point its basically at double occupancy. It has also been on the state fail test for ten years now when it comes to testing and is getting worse rather than improving.

About a year ago some parents in Silver Lake and Los Feliz got together and started a grass roots campaign to lobby the LAUSD to instigate a pretty dramatic overhaul of the school. I believe the plan is based on the "Green Dot" approach. Green Dot is a non-profit that has helped reorganize schools in Boston and other parts of LA and has been pretty successful in getting schools to improve pretty quickly.

Anyway, their model calls for the school to be reorganized into four separate "schools" for the different grades. Think of it as a university campus model with different "schools". Each school would have at max 500 kids and have its own principal to make it easier to keep and maintain control. They also are calling for 90% of the funds allocated to the school by LAUSD to be spent in the classroom and not the current 60% that is spent now (40% goes to "administrative costs").

So, the LA Parents Union is now to the point that they have teachers and parents on board and the LAUSD has signaled that they would be willing to talk with the group about the changes if they can get 5,000 signatures on a petition by May 30.

I went to a meeting last night and found out the goal for getting signatures in our area is about 300. I have emailed Principal Rosenblum about getting permission to have someone stand out in front of the school to get signatures and am waiting to hear back. But the school PTA could get involved and send a newsletter out to parents. We can also go to the farmers market and other locations and get people to sign there. The priority is to get parents of 5th graders to sign, then parents with kids in school, and then all local stakeholders.

Working full time I cannot do all this myself so I wanted to see if any of you would be willing to help. Obviously if all of us sign the petition that is a good head start. Please let me know if you can/want to offer up some time, as it could benefit all of our kids in the long run.

And if you want more info:

http://www.parentsunion.org/

Here's another idea I had. I don't know how many of you watch Noggin with your kids but they have been playing a PSA lately a lot for a trike-a-thon fundraiser for St. Judes which is a hospital for kids with cancer. Once again I'm waiting to hear back from Principal Rosenblum to see if she's in to the idea but if she is would anyone like to help spearhead it. I talked to the St. Judes people on the phone and it sound relatively easy. They send the school DVDs and coloring books about trike and bike safety. The preschool teachers take some time out of their days for four days in a row to watch the DVDs and talk about riding safety. All during that week the parents of the kids are encouraged to donate and get others to donate to St. Jude's. The fifth day is the trike-a-thon where the kids get to demonstrate what they learned. Let me know if you are interested.

Thanks,

Tim

3 comments:

Kay said...

All great ideas! I'm definitely up to helping you, though I'm also a full time worker... How about Irving? Is Irving MS included in this project?
I was also researching about Middle Charter schools in our neighborhood. I was reading up on how to open one.
I don't know if people are interested in starting Charter School, but that's another option.
:)

ninatim said...

FYI Irving is not part of their focus but I'm sure we can learn from what they have done and apply it if/when we need/want to.

Also, reps from the Los Feliz charter school are coming to my neighborhood council committee meeting on Monday (Feb. 4, 6:45pm at the library)to make a presentation so we could get info from them as to charters. The meeting is open to the public so if you can make it please do.

As for help, maybe we can coordinate to get signatures at the farmers market or somewhere else soon. You can email me at twarner@atwatervillage.org so we can game plan some.

Thanks,

Tim

Rayner said...

This cannot have effect in actual fact, that's what I consider.
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