[kc_heading_two size=”24″ color=”red”]Last night they were talking to an empty auditorium..[/kc_heading_two]
On Thursday evening the Round Lake Area Community School District 116 held a Community Forum to discuss various topics. At the very beginning they asked for teachers and staff members to stand up at which time almost everybody sitting in the lower section stood. That meant that parents of over 10,000 students were scattered around the perimeter and in the second tier where I was sitting. I counted less than two dozen parents in the audience, some with their children tagging along.
The presentation was another one of the school districts Power Point presentations which gets rather boring with its one-hour length. About the only thing keeping people awake was the fact that they used multiple speakers to discuss various parts of the presentation. Most of this information could have simply been sent home to the parents. Another disturbing thing, at least to me who went to videotape the event, was the fact that the school board and Superintendent sat in almost TOTAL DARKNESS! I can understand them turning down the stage lights during the presentation so that the big screen was easier to view but WHY leave the lights off during the question and answer period which lasted the last half hour?
[kc_heading_two size=”24″ color=”red”]The officials sat in almost total darkness…[/kc_heading_two]
Since each presenter was standing near the front of the stage with very little light on them, I elected not to videotape the PowerPoint presentation while trying to include the person doing the speaking (since they were in poor lighting). The video below is just a portion that shows the GOALS of District 116 along with using just one parent’s question as an example of how dark it was during the Q&A session. Notice that the last item on the Goals chart is “Develop a Health & Wellness Plan and Wellness Committee”. That will be their efforts to add a School-Based Clinic (SBC) to the high school grounds that can treat and prescribe drugs and medical procedures without parents knowledge.
One chart that I happened to grab a shot of shows how the students at District 116 compare with the Illinois averages and College Readiness benchmarks in various areas of teaching. I find that the mathematics column is representing a much different picture of college readiness when compared to a recent article in the Daily Herald that indicated RLAS is leading other areas with the BIGGEST decrease from 2011 results.
So, why can’t the school officials and board get more people to come to their meetings? I’m sure that fliers were sent home to parents and that the electric sign board at the high school announced the meeting as well. Why is there so much lack of interest on the part of the parents to get involved especially with the results, year after year, of failing efforts to educate their children at a higher level? With over 70% of the student body being Hispanic, are the parents aware that there is a translator at these meetings? What changes does the school board need to make for future meetings to add more interest to the event and draw more parents out? Is it time to scrap the Power Point presentations and talk from the knowledge in their heads? Continuing down the same path is a total waste of time on everyone’s part with only a handful in attendance. Another thing they might want to consider is to STOP dominating the Q&A half-hour with lengthy answers that reduce the number of questions that other parents have their hands up to ask. Like politicians, many who respond, especially Superintendent Collins, like to hear themselves talk and take up way too much time responding. You will see an example in the second half of the video below where a simple question gets almost a four minute response.
If you were paying to rent a hall and putting on a marketing event, you wouldn’t last long or sell many products if nobody came to hear what you had to say. You would regroup and analyze what you need to change and come up with a NEW plan to get customers at your future events. That is exactly what this board needs to do BEFORE the upcoming forum where they will be discussing Finances.
[kc_heading_two size=”24″ color=”red”]What suggestions would you make..[/kc_heading_two]
If you have any suggestions that might help them increase participation, email it to Superintendent Constance Collins or School Board President Nanci Radford (or add it to the comment section here)
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[kc_heading_two size=”24″ color=”red”]Don’t miss the next meeting if you enjoy numbers…[/kc_heading_two]
Board of Education Community Forum – Finances
11/28/2012 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM