Monday, February 4, 2013

Your School Should Have One Too

You School Should Have One What Too?
One Town Hall Meeting.

Tonight Ann Arbor Open gathered for a Town Hall meeting, organized by the Ann Arbor Open Coordinating Council (our PTO). It was really positive. That is good because I think in the coming year we'll have lots of bad news.

The Town Hall meeting was called: 30th Anniversary of Ann Arbor Open! Where have we been and where are we going?

The meeting officially began with someone giving the history of Ann Arbor Open. The history of Ann Arbor Open is a little different because it is the history of a program and not a school, but every school has an interesting history.

[Side note: In fact, just the other day Ed Vielmetti posted a fascinating piece about the building of Ann Arbor High School (now Pioneer High School), with a film and everything! Find it here.]

Then we moved into small groups (assigned by colored dots on our name tags) and were asked to discuss these six questions and report out. There was a good mix of parents, teachers, and even a few kids (two of whom reported out for their group!).

I think these questions could be used, with only slight modification, by most of the district's schools.

1. What can parents do specifically to support teachers with increasing class sizes?
2. What can parents do specifically to support specials teachers, staff and administration?
3. How can we lessen the impact of testing on the project-based learning in our school?
4. What methods of promotion (PR) do we use to educate prospective families and the general community about Open Education? How do we provide a common message?
5. What do we do well at our school that we can promote to the greater Ann Arbor community? Multi-cultural fair? The incredible projects that happen in classrooms every day? Others?
6. What does it mean for a family to be part of the Open School?

Anyway--although students were invited--I couldn't interest my son in coming with me.
On my way out the door, though, he asked, "Are other schools doing this too?"
"I don't know," I said.

But now that I've been to one?

I hope so.

1 comment:

  1. It was great to see you there last night, Ruth! I agree - all schools should have something like the Town Hall meeting. It really helps to strengthen the sense of community in our school. It also gives us a chance to get to know parents and students that we may not have had the chance to encounter in the past. Working together with trust is such an integral part of our school, and I'm glad we have events such as the one last night to help encourage that.