In the last week, for instance, I was asked:
1. Why is my child forced to take an online class for 10th grade English because the school messed up her schedule and then there was no room for her in a regular class? (Note: this student did not want to take this class online.) [I don't know.]
2. When is kindergarten roundup? Have the times been posted yet? [Not to my knowledge. But Community and Skyline orientations have been posted.]
3. Why do the Skyline announcements come out in an email at 7 p.m., when many events are already over? [I don't know. But my guess is that nobody has thought of adjusting the time the automated email goes out to an earlier time of day.]
4. Why is it so hard to figure out how to access the school board packets? [I don't know. Somebody thought it was a good idea to embed it in the web site's google calendar, but how would you guess you need to click "details" to find it.]
And for all of these, if there was an easy communications link. . . a way to reach somebody. . . but who? how?
School board member Christine Stead pointed out to me that there is now a virtual "budget suggestions box" on the Ann Arbor schools home page. You're forgiven if you hadn't noticed it. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but I know that I hadn't noticed it despite looking at the home page several times.
It's tucked away on the left side, as can be seen in this screen shot.
And really, it's a good start.
DO share your budget ideas! (They say they will post suggestions and responses on the web site, but I don't see them yet.)
But let's not stop there.
What we need is a real suggestion box--virtual, and maybe the old-fashioned kind in the schools as well.
We need a place for questions, and suggestions that might improve things even if they don't save money.
So what I suggest is this:
OCCUPY that suggestion box.
USE that suggestion box.
INFILTRATE that suggestion box.
SHARE that suggestion box.
Use it for all kinds of questions and ideas--not just about the budget.
(But just to be perfectly clear--do use it for your budget ideas!)
And if you want a direct response, leave your name and email address, and ask for a response.
Here is a link to the suggestion form.
My first suggestion? To create a multi-topic suggestions box!