Archive for November, 2011

Yet Another Great Letter

November 15, 2011

Once Again from the Sun Post;

Wait on STEAM

Is a STEAM school a good idea for Robbinsdale School District 281? Given the success of Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion, it makes sense that the district is considering this magnet school. RSI is so desirable that many local families enter a lottery every year to get in and many are left on an extensive waiting list hoping to get in. Another specialized school option with a motivated staff and excited families sounds like what most parents want.

I am concerned that the many in-district families who may be excited about the STEAM program will end up on a waiting list. Remember: 33 percent of the STEAM students will be from outside our district. I am also concerned about the other schools in the district. Recently, a report came out on AYP of District 281 schools. I am a parent of an elementary school student (not enrolled in RSI or Zachary Lane). And although it has been determined that AYP testing and NCLB programs are flawed, I am troubled by the results.

 

I would like to see the school board and the district administration address the problems of the schools we have. How about motivating the current staff and implementing programs that all the families in the district can get excited about? I want to hear ideas that have the potential to benefit all families in the district, not just 66 percent of one school. Once all the schools are on better standing, then it would make sense to see a STEAM school started in the district.

Bonnie Hansen

New Hope

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A Great Point of View

November 7, 2011

We’ve been struggling with what to write about this story, but a recent letter to the editor in the sun post summed it up perfectly;

Rally around Students

As a graduate of Robbinsdale Armstrong High School, I was appalled to learn of the punishment high school administrations are levying against three students involved in horseplay at the school several weeks ago. According to widely reported facts in local media, one of the students put another student in a headlock, and that student briefly lost consciousness. According to the students, the loss of consciousness was unintended and accidental. It was not part of any “game;” it was horseplay.

While administrators have a duty to respond to these types of incidents, they went way too far. Instead of disciplining the students internally, school officials called police, and had all three students booked into jail. Officials are also threatening all three students with expulsion. This is despite the fact that the so-called victim was unharmed, stated that the incident was consensual, and asked that no charges should be filed.

Sadly, this type of response does not surprise me. School administrators in this district have a history of this type of abusive behavior toward students. Instead of the school system being a place of learning and personal development, administrators instead have focused on severing personal relationships with students. This incident exposes one of the systemic flaws in our public education system, and I hope the community will not only rally around these students, but put public pressure on the school board to make the fundamental changes in the administration needed to restore the district’s reputation.

Dan Garon

Plymouth

You’ve got it, Mr. Garon! Threatening these kids with expulsion for goofing off? This is absurd and shows why this dumb zero tolerance policy needs to be ended at once!!!

Everyday is Earth Day!

November 7, 2011

Once again, from the good old sun post;

ECFE wins grant

Early Childhood Family Education of Robbinsdale Area Schools has been awarded at $3,000 Environmental Education Grant for 2011-2012 from Hennepin County Environmental Services. Building parents’ awareness of and encouraging participation in public issues such as the environment is a goal of ECFE.

Huh? We thought the goal of early childhood education was to get kids to read and write at a younger age and be kindergarten ready. Isn’t that supposed to reduce the achievement gap?

“We hope to inspire ECFE families to live greener lifestyles as a result of their participation in this Hennepin County Environmental Services grand-funded project,” said Nicki Murphy, ECFE Parent Educator, who was awarded the grant. In addition to the training of staff and parents, lessons will be woven into parent discussion on a weekly basis, a field trip for parents and children is planned, and ECFE will host a garage sale and Earth Day event in the spring.

Training the staff and parents? A parental discussion on a weekly basis? A garage sale? Remember everyday is Earth Day! That makes us all feel good!!