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Parent 'advisers' sought for new K-5 report card

Original post made on Sep 4, 2013

The Palo Alto school district is seeking applicants for an advisory committee to help reform the elementary school report card. The parent committee will be an advisory group to the 30-plus-member Elementary Report Card Committee, composed mostly of teachers and other school staff.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 9:46 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Useless
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2013 at 11:29 am

Will this advisory committee goin to go spend hours working get to an agreement and make a nice plan, present it to district officials who will pretend to like it, but later will throw it to the trash as they have done with the work that the homework advisory and Gunn couseling committees put together. Such as wast of time!

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Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

The PAUSD Board will praise the work of the committee members and will then allow the District Staff to take an additional year to study the impact of implementation (Gunn Counseling), fail to update the school site handbooks so no one knows about the new policy(Homework), fail to set up any system for measuring the impact of the proposed changes (Homework, Counseling, Calendar Change), and if there are on-going concerns turn a deaf ear to the public.

If you are considering joining the K-5 Report Card committee, I strongly suggest that you spend the time volunteering in the classroom or doing something else that will directly benefit children. In addition, if you are so motivated, consider running for School Board so the key issues raised by the community can be addressed and real policy changes can be implemented.

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Posted by Useless
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

I agree. Do not waste your time on something that will not be implemented, instead go help during lunch time, volunteer to do noon activities. There is a great need for parents to volunteer at this time, but because most of the parents are working, there is never enough help. For sure your help will be appreciated by the students and their parents, and your work will not go to the trash.

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Posted by Skelly is the decider
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

Don't forget the high school task force, which was formed in 2007 to study a third high school but was told after it started by Dr. Skelly that it could not consider a third high school after all after which time they didn't know what to do. Waste of time.

Or the Math Task Force which voted to end timed tests of math facts of first and second graders because the evidence said it caused math anxiety. Waste of time.

Gunn Counseling -- an entire year, full day "retreats," a paid facilitator, and a hundred page report. Waste of time.

Homework -- en entire year, reading research, writing a policy, adopted with much fanfare. Waste of time.

Calendar -- don't even get me started. Math textbooks. Same. I could go on -- this board and district has no interest in parent input. Do not waste your time on any district committee.

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Posted by Parent on AAAG
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

And of course there was the AAAG to discuss boundaries and no notice was taken of that either.

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Posted by Paly parent
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

I'm also wondering whatever happened to the Safe and Welcoming Schools Task Force (formed last spring), and the several parents who were selected to serve on that committee. There was much fanfare at the time, along with ambitious goals.

See task force description on PAUSD website: Web Link

Can any of the parents who serve on that committee fill us in on progress made so far? What is the timetable for further efforts this fall?

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Posted by Skelly is the decider
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 5, 2013 at 9:02 am

Also the Garland-Greendell community advisory committee...Waste of time. This board, this superintendent -- there is no point in trying to get involved.

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Posted by Chris Kenrick Palo Alto Weekly Staff Writer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

Paly Parent,

The "Safe and Welcoming Schools" initiative is now part of the district's "focused goal #4" for 2013-14. The board is supposed to vote on this list of goals Tuesday, Sept. 10: Web Link

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Posted by Skelly is the decider
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 5, 2013 at 11:09 am

Chris, Paly Parent is not asking about the initiative. He/She is asking about the task force. What happened with the task force, what if anything did they do, what if anything did they accomplish. All that "initiative" says is that they are going to continue to participate in surveys that they already participate in, adopt a policy that they already have to adopt, and continue to have training that they are being forced to have by OCR. Nothing in that presentation discusses the results of the Task Force effort. There should have been some kind of report, there was supposed to be another committee. What happened? Was it appointed? Is it working? Did they just drop that idea with no public discussion because everything surrounding the OCR stuff is happening in closed sessions? THere were only 3 meetings of that task force -- did it accomplish anything? Why don't you report on it instead of pointing the public to the contentless "focused goal" slideshow that even Dr. Skelly admitted was really deficient in his Weekly to the board. Let Tabitha post the district's spin here and you go work on some reporting.

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Posted by Gunn Parent
a resident of Gunn High School
on Sep 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

Chris, thank you for the update on the Safe and Welcoming Schools committee.

Can you please provide an update on the Board and District's status on the implementation of the recommendations from all of the committees referenced above - Homework, Gunn Counseling, HighSchool, Calendar and Math Task Force.

It appears that the story is that the District and Board make great fanfare of assembling committees which produce policy recommendations which are then not acted upon. In the words of the posters above - a complete waste of time and resources.

So Chris - how is the Report Card Committee going to have a different outcome? What actions will the Board and District take to ensure implementation of these recommendations when they have not implemented committee recommendations in the past? What actions can the members of the previous committees now take to ensure that the recommendations from their committees are implemented?

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Posted by enough already
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Gah. She didn't provide an update on the committee. She misdirected people interested in the committee to some PP slides that don't even mention the committee or that it ever even existed. Editor, it is a disservice to the public to provide such poor coverage of such an important local (and national) issue. Just today a Stanford prof published an op-ed in the NYT criticizing tax deductions for PiE. Any coverage of this issue in the Weekly? Stop the cheerleading, stop publishing the district's press releases. Interview sources. Provide context.

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Posted by Frustrated parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I served on the homework committee. We worked for months on a policy that was then adopted by the board. We said at the time that writing a policy is one thing, implementing it is quite another. Unfortunately there was no real follow through so no one knows if it is even being followed by teachers. I imagine that is because teachers don't want to be monitored. The board is just not willing to stand yup to employees to get things done. I have to agree that these committees are a wage of parent time.

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Posted by Skelly is laughing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

The advisory groups and task forces are shams that Skelly puts in place to take the heat off of him. They have no power and essentially spin their wheel for up to a year.

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm

The problem is that the committees are told from the beginning that certain topics are off-limits, even thought they are within the scope of review. It is not possible to come to a well-reasoned conclusion if the conversation is artificially constrained and the outcome is pre-ordained.

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Posted by Betty Swedberg
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I am a mother,Grandmother, & G. Grandmother. My report cards from my childhood, always admonished children to be good citizens etc., be kind, caring, work hard, and be good students. As various aged people, including young people, have read my report cards from Wisconsin in 1936 and on, they love what the printing said.
I'd love to see just one school, print on the report cards something similar to mine. It really made an impression on me as a child, and others. I lived in the country on a farm, and our schooling was a big deal for us, as it is today, especially for K-5 kids. Thank you for allowing me to ramble on! I acknowledr that I am behind the times, due to age. But children mean a lot to me.

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