Friday, February 27, 2009

SWOTs notes from Excellence for All monthly meeting

This week I had the painful pleasure of going to yet another community meeting with those over-sized post-it notes. Generally, I'm with more comfort if they are using butcher paper.

This one was organized by Pgh Public Schools and its parent engagement coordinator, Mark Conner under the Excellence for All flag. The main note taker was an employee from A+ Schools.

At the end of the meeting, I went to the notes and took these snaps. They need to be better organized to tell the SWOT story.

I'll try, if I have the time, to put them into concept maps.



Click on any image to see a larger view.

I would have rather been watching the Pitt basektball game -- but then again, that was the night of the loss to the Friars.

I heard today that Sports Illustrated was set to feature Pitt on the cover of this week's magazine, until that loss to an un-ranked team. I guess it was reported in the P-G?


Mark Rauterkus said...

If anyone wants to make heads or tails of these notes, especially if you were at the meeting, then I'd love for you to send them to me via email.


fixit said...

Mark Conner and Mayeda Monsour will be putting out a report on what was written/discussed sometime next week (per his email on the 25th).

I know the issue of opening some of our closed buildings to be used as recreation/youth/sports centers has been discussed several times. How realistic is it? At least in the current economy it seems out of reach without years of planning. What would the insurance costs alone be? The staffing costs? Perhaps once the giant post-its are put to a report the next step is eliminating those opportunities from the list that can't be accomplished within 5 years and then assigning a value to the others.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The cost of insurance is of slight overhead when contrasted to the cost of construction.

The cost of lost opportunities is great -- when contrasted to the benefits of great programs and solid education for our kids, in afterschool times.

But all in all, I'm less worried about the opening of the presently closed schools -- idle ones. I'm more worried about use of the open schools that are just locked up to the community and the kids after the school hour usage.

fixit said...

"locked up to the community" does not really apply if you are willing to go through the process of applying for permits. I know of one high school used regularly for pre-season baseball conditioning/practice on Sundays. It is cute to see how a bunch of ten-year-old kids and younger need "conditioning" in an indoor gym prior to their season. It is a good PR move to allow a parent/CAA officer to offer this to his community kids. Mark, your commitment is astounding, but if you are looking for someone to give you a set of keys to your local school it won't happen.

Mark Rauterkus said...

One school used on Sundays in one period of the year.

I'd love to hear of more such stories.

Sure, there are pockets of use.

But, we have dozens and dozens of gyms. They are dark most of the time. This is more than just the gyms, of course.

And, the contrast between the city and the burbs is like night and day.

You don't need a permit to walk around the track on 99% of the suburban facilities, yet Cupples is closed for casual recreation.

The 10-year-old conditioning is cute -- and it isn't just fluff. It is valued.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the process of applying for a permit has now gotten more complicated and applicants may need FBI clearance.