I got this in my email today from a local group, Success by 6:
The Willow Run and Ypsilanti school consolidation must involve community members to be successful. On Thursday, January 24th, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm you are invited to participate in the launching of the Community Advisory Groups.
Remember: When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door!
[In other words: participate in this project. Please.]
The email included two flyer attachments, which I am pasting in here.
Launching Advisory Groups to implement the
Launching Advisory Groups to implement the
Unified District Design
Thursday, January 24, 2013, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
• Overview Presentation
• Breakout Advisory Group Sessions
• Feedback on proposed district names
Willow Run Auditorium, 235 Spencer Lane, Ypsilanti
RSVP TO: Brenda Hegwood, firstname.lastname@example.org or call
(734) 994-8100, ext. 1283
Here is some information about the possible advisory groups that you could join. There is a reason that they also say "short- and long-term commitment options available." If you can't go to the meeting, email Brenda Hegwood and tell her you can't go to the meeting and identify the advisory group you would like to join.
• Board of Education
• Transition Steering Committee (TSC-°©‐9 members comprised of board, superintendents and WISD staff)
• Transition Task Force (25 members comprised of TSC, chairs of advisory groups and district leadership
• Community Advisory Groups (up to 50 members in each group) responsible for planning and coordinating implementation of the educational pillars:
1. Early Childhood (birth to kindergarten entry)
2. Positive Culture and Climate
3. High Quality Teachers and Teaching
4. Effective Leadership at all Levels
5. Opportunities for College Credit/Career Credentials before graduation
6. Shared Identity and Naming
7. Co‐curricular activities
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #1 ‐ Early Childhood
• Charge – Examine and develop a pre‐natal to kindergarten entry program to prepare students for kindergarten
• Key tasks – Research to support a successful family development center that includes an array of information from health to community resources; assessing community needs to support program implementation for kindergarten readiness; examining program models using blended funding models to offer full day early childhood education and care programs tailored to different family needs
• Timeline – January--December 2013
[Success by 6 actually has a contractual job opening posted for a one-year grant-funded position to support the development of a family development center. You can read more about the position here. Let's just remember that any family development center has to be able to survive without grant funding in the long-term, or--alternatively--with long-term grant funding identified.]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #2 Positive Culture and Climate
• Charge – Implement a model of character education to restore and enhance a respectful learning environment
• Key tasks – implement effective school culture and safety models and approaches; professional learning for families and staff related to culture and achievement; encourage student empowerment and leadership through programs and civic engagement; develop an alternative education program
• Timeline – January--April 2013
[WHAT? Why is developing an alternative education program part of Positive Culture and Climate and not part of High Quality Teachers and Teaching?]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #3 – High Quality Teachers and Teaching
• Charge – Recommend a viable, community--focused instructional strategy for kindergarten through high school with the focus on engagement and achievement
• Key tasks – outline teacher characteristics and skills; recommend teacher selection process; endorse instructional models for elementary and secondary programs; identify balanced schools calendar models (versus current, traditional calendar with summers off); pinpoint an instructional leadership system to support teacher--leaders; recommend an effective student support strategy for special education students; identify a productive professional development model.
• Timeline – January – April 2013 2
[Regarding recommending a teacher selection process, that had better happen very quickly! Regarding a balanced schools calendar vs. a traditional calendar, you may want to put your input in on that! The evidence connecting a balanced calendar with better teaching is rather weak, but there are some advantages to it.]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #4 – Effective Leadership at all Levels
• Charge – Defining effective leadership and recommending models to support
• Key tasks – Craft an outline to capture qualities, characteristics and skills of proven leaders and using this as a guide for developing leaders
• Timeline – January -- May 2013
[First the group needs to define who they are including as "leaders."]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR#5 – College Credit and Career Credentials
• Charge – A multi‐faceted program that provides opportunities for all students to earn college credit or career credentials prior to graduation
• Key tasks – Explore a myriad of options for students that can include dual enrollment, accelerated graduation, AP and IB courses and direct credit; examine career options/technical training programs; secure key partnerships to provide a support system to ensure completion of college courses or career training
• Timeline – January – April 2013
[I'm not sure if we are reinventing the wheel here, or if it is because we are creating a new district and it's more of a matter of transferring key partnerships.]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #6 – District Shared Identity and Naming
• Charge – Develop a strong shared identity for the unified district including a district name, mascot and school colors (secondary schools)
• Key tasks – Develop a means to engage internal and external stakeholders in the process of selecting a name, mascot and school colors. This task will include gleaning feedback through suggestion boxes in all district schools and the public library as well as through facilitated public forums. A committee comprised of a cross‐section of stakeholders will sift through the names that resonate most with the community and make a recommendation to the Board of Education
• Timeline – January – February 2013
[This has gotten the most attention so far in the media, but it's probably the least important advisory group here. I don't think people will choose or not choose the district because it's Ypsilanti Unified or Eastern Washtenaw. . . which, by the way, people do know there is already an Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy that is a local charter school, right?]
ADVISORY GROUP PILLAR #7 – Co‐Curricular Activities
• Charge – Using the key educational pillars as a guide, develop a co-curricular program that will enhance and support the goals of the unified school district
• Key tasks – Outline an athletic program that embraces the sports traditions of both districts while setting standards that promote the academic pillars of the unified district; design clubs and extra curricular activities that align and embrace the objectives of the unified district.
• Timeline – January – June 2013
[I do think sports and clubs are key; if a balanced calendar is chosen, how will that affect them?]
So, PLEASE. . . whether you are a citizen or a professional with an interest in the districts (for instance, a teacher or custodian). . . PARTICIPATE! There is lots of room. There is space for up to 50 people on each advisory group!