It looks as if the countywide school board is at the point where it will dive into the 172 recommendations made this past summer by the schools consolidation planning commission.
And for parents of students in both the city and county schools it can’t come soon enough.
Parents of children in the CLUE program and other programs for gifted students showed up in force for Monday night’s school board meeting, some believing the board would vote on the future of those programs in the merged school system at that meeting.
Board chairman Billy Orgel told them a decision is more likely early in 2013. But then the board approved a timeline that suggests the board might be in a mood to discuss and vote on all of the recommendations by the end of the year. If the board decides to go for it, look for more special meetings after the first one on Nov. 15 at 5:30 pm. The board, as we reported, is still considering a sight for the meeting.
The crowd at last night’s meeting confirms there will be a lot of interest and a sense of urgency continues to build.
Even if you don’t have children, it’s easy to understand the anxiety surrounding the need to have certainty for your child about what will happen when the new school year begins in August. In those terms, August is just around the corner.
And what to do with CLUE and the optional schools programs is not just a big general question, it’s also very complex. Several different kinds of optional school programs have evolved from the beginning of the programs in the 1980s.
What happens to both programs affects carefully made academic plans that stretch into college and even graduate school.
CLUE has been around so long that the school board heard from some parents of CLUE students who were themselves in the CLUE program when they were children.
School board chairman Billy Orgel is among them.
Much has changed since then in education in general. Orgel told a story about a recent trip to a school library where he picked several books off the shelf and began noticing that the last time many of the books had been checked out was 1998. An alarmed Orgel asked the school librarian if a lot of books were going unread. The librarian explained that students no longer signed a card in the book to check it out, but instead had the book scanned electronically. The old cards remain in some of the older books but it doesn’t mean no one has checked them out.
“Are you sure you were in CLUE,” fellow board member Jeff Warren joked.