Thursday, August 20, 2015

Meeting Reminder

Whether you have children in school or not, the quality of the local school district affects you. The lion's share of our property taxes goes to the school district, and we are paying dearly for results that are less then mediocre. HCSD has an annual budget of about $45 million (by comparison, the City of Hudson's annual budget is just under $12.5 million) and an enrollment of about 1,800. Yet year after year, HCSD ranks at or near the bottom as compared with other school districts in the Capital Region.

Tonight, in the cafeteria of John L. Edwards Primary School, the Board of Education of the Hudson City School District is inviting community input. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., they will be conducting a "facilitated conversation" to hear suggestions from the community for how to meet "the board's current and/or proposed goals for the next five years." The press release issued by HCSD superintendent Maria Suttmeier reads in part:
For the upcoming forum, there will be opportunities for participants to answer the following questions. Each subtitle refers to one of the board’s current and/or proposed goals for the next five years.
Raising the Bar: The Hudson City School District is committed to improving the academic success of every child, pre-K through graduation. There are changes that must be made to meet these goals.
  • What changes do you envision could create a more rigorous and challenging environment for all of our students?
Closing the Gap: Our district is locally unique; we serve a wide range of rural and urban families who are religiously, racially, socially, economically, and internationally diverse. Often, our achievement gaps fall along these lines.
  • What can we do to support each other?
  • What can we do to support each child, regardless of differences, in a more challenging and rigorous academic climate?
Aligning Curriculum: The district curriculum is our map to what students learn and how they learn it. The maps must be aligned to state and national requirements, and they must be effective (note: we test students to determine whether they understand what is being taught and then we use that data to revise what and how we teach). We also intend for our district curriculum to be relevant to our student body and to help set them on the path to career and college.
  • How can we improve communication between the schools, caregivers, and students so that expectations and the student’s education are consistent and more easily understood?
Social Emotional Development: The social and emotional well-being of our students is fundamental to their success.
  • From your perspective, what can the district provide for our students to feel safe, fulfilled, and empowered?
Once everyone has had an opportunity to provide input to these questions information will be reported out.

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