Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Observations and Priorities

My voice is generally deployed to address social, afterschool and community stuff -- not instructional leadership.

Dances, plays, sports, use of buildings after the dismissal bell -- are areas where the Pittsburgh Public Schools and I are oceans apart.

The district's weakness in those areas are countered well with my strengths and interests. Afterschool is not a priority for those in the PPS district -- yet it is mine. I care about drop outs, gun violence, a shrinking city -- and even the Olympics.

Nutshell: I want to create literate Olympians here.

I am waiting, still to hear from a new employee, Holly. She is the new czar of afterschool with Pittsburgh Public Schools. My meeting with the principal of the IB School, Dr. Walters, has been on hold since December.

On Monday, I will go to the PPS Board and deliver a position paper about the concept of 13th grade at the new I.B. Jr/Sr High. Stay tuned. I've been talking about this for a few weeks, online and in personal meetings.

The academic viability of IB is unquestioned for some students, for sure. Getting the school to be a success, year-in and year-out where more than a thousand (or more) students thrive, in Pittsburgh, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, south of the city in Mt. Lebo comes this school news.

These guys can't even build a new swim pool. Now they want a high school. Oh boy.
Some Mt. Lebanon residents ask for new high school: "A group of Mt. Lebanon residents last night asked the school board to consider building a completely new high school, a move that would require the community to approve a referendum on the matter.

Group members, who said their organization is called Build Our School Now, asked the board to vote for building a completely new high school rather than renovating the current structure and to put the issue to a referendum, which would be required under state law.

State formulas for debt limits hold Mt. Lebanon to spending no more than $110 million on the high school project without getting a referendum approved by the community. A new high school would cost about $150 million.

Build Our School Now representatives, including Kristin Linfante and David Brumfield, pledged to the board that they would knock on doors in the community lobbying people to approve the referendum.
Perhaps they could buy Schenley High School. And, for good measure, we'll also air-lift them the Civic Arena as well.

No comments: