Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Occupy the Suggestion Box!

I get questions about the schools all the time, and often they are of the "why" or "when" variety.

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!


  1. Please always feel free to ask me your questions. I will get you an answer or get you to the person who can answer it for you. Email is best. K Round up dates will be posted by next week. I will check with Skyline on the timing of the messages. And I always encourage everyone to ask your questions directly to the school. If you are not satisfied then please contact me.
    Liz Margolis

  2. Just FYI to everyone...Liz Margolis is the AAPS Communications Director