I must admit the past two weeks have been so busy, I am finally finding a moment to sit down and recap!
The week of the 21st I was scheduled to attend the Special Education Advisory Committee meeting Monday, the Youth Art Month Exhibit and the Budget Adoption Meeting Tuesday, and the Governor School’s Open House Thursday. As we all know, life never goes exactly according to plan! Unfortunately my youngest son was not feeling well Monday night so I stayed home with him. I look forward to receiving a copy of the minutes from the SEAC; as I’ve mentioned before in this blog it is a dynamic group and I am sorry to have missed the meeting. Fortunately by Tuesday my littlest was feeling better and the whole family was able to attend the Youth Art Month Exhibit at the high school. All of the artwork on display was so engaging and my oldest really enjoyed the jazz band, he didn’t want to leave! I was not able to stay long since we had our budget adoption meeting at 7, but greatly enjoyed my time there. To wrap up the busy week my littlest and I attended the SVGS Open House Thursday night and I was so excited to see a display from my campaign student advisor, Anna Fridley! Our students there are so talented, I’m continually impressed by their work.
The budget process, as always, has its pluses and minuses. Let me start with the big minus, the loss of PreK seats. As I mentioned in my post on Wayne Hills, PreK education is so vital to set our students off for success and I am extremely frustrated that we lost a 4 year old classroom. I am hopeful that we can try to gain those seats back before August, through our work with the DOE and General Assembly. At the budget meeting Dr. Cassell suggested and the board approved asking City Council for the additional funds to cover the classroom for next year. We are actively seeking out various routes to resolve this issue and again I remain hopeful that we will be able to serve those students. For the plus, I am so glad that we are finally able to fix salary inversion and give a raise for our educators. Our teachers are our most valuable resource and we need to continue to invest in them the way they invest in our students. Having a competitive salary also aids us in recruiting and retaining top educators. Overall, I am satisfied with the progress made with salaries and hopeful that we can find a resolution to maintain our PreK seats.