RLA School Board chooses option that does not uproot students
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Round Lake Area School District 116 was able to add an additional option to their restructuring choices which would mean that no staff or students would be displaced to other locations. The Board had several options to choose from including the following:
1) State takeover
2) Reopen as charter schools
3) Contract with an outside entity
4) Replace all or most of the staff
5) Major restructuring of the schools’ governance
At tonight’s meeting the administration narrowed the choice down to two of the above: Grade level centers (similar to charter setups) or School Governance which meant “no movement” of teachers or students. After another long Power Point presentation by Superintendent Dr. Constance Collins and Asst Superintendent Veronica Lake, in which they made the parents squint at about 1/4 of the available screen, parents were allowed time to speak.
It would appear that Board members had already made up their minds even before tonight’s meeting since there was no discussion on the motion to accept “School Governance” after the motion was made and seconded. Instead, several acted rather apologetic prior to their “yes” votes by going into lengthy “Thank-Yous” to those in attendance and encouraging them to continue to attend meetings. The time for that would have been immediately after the Public Comment portion of the meeting, not during a vote that was on the table. The Board accepted the recommendation of the panel with only one member being opposed. The restructuring using the School Governance will not come without a major cost. New books totalling between $500,000 to $750,000 will be necessary just for starters. Additional staff for collaboration (someone else telling them what they should be doing in the first place) will cost approximately $429,000 plus software and equipment for this additional staff totalling $55,000. They talked a little bit about data warehousing where students entire school records would be stored so an overview of their progress could easily be seen at a cost of $40,000. Dr. Collins mentioned during her portion of the presentation that no new books had been purchased in a number of years.
One of the parents stated that there was no accountability in the recommended plan. The school can go down this path and if it doesn’t get the expected results, then we all go down another path with the same people in charge. Others also spoke up which will be in the 2 hour long video.