My notes from this week’s BOE meeting. Relevant details:
- The meeting was at the building that houses our Pre-K building, so all BOE members and central administrators had small-scale cutout of themselves taped in front of their seats. It was cute.
- Some recognition for people who did awesome things, including a girl who donated a bunch of money to a great cause by collecting “Capri-Sun Cannisters” (to quote the BOE President). Not sure how that works, but it got me.
- We then had a cool presentation about a project being worked on by our alternative high school kids in a virtual world. The presentation included a demonstration, that had a very flatulent sound effect that played any time the avatar went into the door. Not quite the Metaverse, but the very fact that the concept of an “avatar” was described at a BOE meeting, made me think that the events described in Snow Crash are soon to be a reality.
- Following the recognition, we moved into the week’s budget dissection. Down about 9.5 FTE’s district-wide. Mean class size of 24 at the secondary level. Science, long a lingering wisp of what it should be at the elementary level, will finally die for anyone not in middle school, with the removal of a teacher who ran the “pull out” program, in favor of a TA in charge of a “push in” program.
- Foreign language is similarly removed from the education of anyone less than 11 years old.
- We are expanding the use of computers to garner “credit recovery” at the secondary level. So robots will do home teaching, via a program called "Odysseyware". It’s just like real teaching, only without people, and much less expensive.
- An unnecessarily long discussion about our obligations to private school students from our district let me to doodle about making BOE members take a school law class.
- "Studies have shown…" was used by the superintendant to precede an explanation of why primary-level summer school was not a great investment. Studies have shown a lot of things.
- A good discussion on the “redeployment” of “floating nurses” led me to dreams of nurses on clouds, or held aloft via a system of cords that tethered them to either balloons or starlings, gracefully gliding from building to building. The reality is not as interesting.
- A BOE member’s discussion of a “heavy heart” led me to the heart drawing.
Another week in budget season, another meeting down the hatch!