Sometimes nature and technology collide - like today. As a result of Coronavirus guidance to avoid large crowds we were forced to cancel today's fundraiser. Instead Lynne answered your questions on Facebook Live. In case you missed it, here are a few of her thoughts, and a link to watch the recording.
Is the building secure? Are we watching who’s coming and going? Are we prepared for worst? Are we monitoring the climate? We can make a safe building, but if the people in it don’t feel welcome and if they don’r feel like they're supported, then those are things that can spiral in very bad ways. That's why we need trauma-informed practices.
GRADE LEVEL vs ADVANCED COURSES
I think it’s fine for students to be on grade level. We are looking at grade level instruction as substandard and it shouldn't be. Those students that are ready for more, we as a system should be able to give it to them.
SPECIAL EDUCATION / EVALUATIONS
We need adequate staffing and para-educator support. I think we need to build in a much more user-friendly way for anyone who wants or thinks student needs to get evaluated. I talk to a lot of parents who have tried and failed to cracked that nut. I fully believe that MCPS is a system needs a true ombudsman. When a parent feels like our teacher feels like we’re trying to get services or assessment or screening for a student and it’s not going anywhere, it’s not going fast enough, there's somebody right there whose job it is to be in the middle and elevate those concerns. We see parents all the time who try and try and try. Or we see parents just don’t know how to engage that system and ask for what they need.
DATA AND TRANSPARENCY
Why don’t we benchmarking ourselves against other [large school] systems who are sharing that data?
It's critical especially before a new curriculum rollout. We need to make every moment of professional development VERY valuable to our teachers." Evaluations needed. Get feedback. Engage teachers in a REAL conversation about whether it's useful, and how to improve.
We have to be honest about the fear that community feels. If we’re not working with them to ask what they need then we’re just contributing to the problem. We can't just assume what they need. We need to understand what they need.
BOUNDARY ANALYSIS - DIVERSITY I do think we need to be looking at diversity because I think that's one of the ways that we prepare our students for the college and the world. I would never say to achieve a diversity goal we’re going to bus students it’s all over the place. First of all, we don’t have the capacity to do that. But there are ways with placement or minor boundary changes that we can make schools more walkable.