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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Challenges Ahead...


I usually try to keep my posts on this blog about what's happening in my classroom....the good and the challenging but this post is going to be about my school district.  This week was a week full of hope, anxiety, discouragement and reality.  Yep.  Let me explain...

My school district was on the ballot this past week for a 10 year, 6.73 mil emergency operating levy that would generate about $2.8 million annually for our district.  It would stabilize our deficit budget and restore $2 million in cuts that took place earlier this summer.  Lots of committees were formed and we've been working all summer to gain the support of our community.  As with any community, there are those who support their schools because they know that good schools make good communities, bring new families and commerce to our area and is just a good investment in the future.  There are those who believe that they can't afford a tax increase (even though this is the "cheapest" it's going to be).  And then we have those who are just unhappy with the decisions the district has made or feel that because they don't have children in the district they should not feel the need to support the district.  I can understand those who believe that they can't afford a tax increase but I have a hard time with those who are just 100% against anything the district does but does nothing to be a part of the solution.

So...Tuesday finally came and went...and our levy failed by about 340 votes.  I knew it would be a close vote, but I was really hoping it would be a close vote in the other direction.

The cuts in our building pre-levy included loosing our computer teacher (who bumped back into first grade...yeah for me...she's my best friend...but sad for her because she loved being the technology teacher in our building and was qualified...and sad for our kiddos because in a district that has a 1:1 Laptop Initiative in grades 6-12, our kids will be a little behind once they get to 6th grade).  We also lost one of our pre-kindergarten teachers...and the threat of other possible cuts were "out there".

Since the levy failed, our children now do not have an actual art, music, or gym class.  Reality is...we're responsible for teaching computer, music, art and gym on top of the curriculum for English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.  And who knows...there could be additional cuts.  There were some pretty deep cuts in the other buildings too...even a pay to play fee of $730 per sport or activity at the high school level...so if you're in band, on the swim team, and run track you'll have to pay an additional $2,190.00 this year.  It would have been cheaper to vote yes.  

So now we're waiting...waiting to see if more cuts are eminent, waiting to see what our building schedule will look like, waiting to see if parents choose to pull their children from our district and send them to an area district...waiting for all of the cards to fall so that we, as a staff, can pick them up, put them in order and move ahead the best that we can.

Chat soon!

10 comments:

  1. ugh! I am sorry Jenn. It doesn't make for an easy start to the year. I'll be thinking about you :)

    Em
    Curious Firsties

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  2. So sorry to hear this...not a good way to start back! I hope the district will be creative and think "out of the box" for finding ways to deal with this. Keep us informed of how things go...
    ღ Diane
    schoolhousetreasures


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    Replies
    1. I'm hoping for some outside the box thinking!
      Jenn

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  3. Oh my. I'm sorry to hear about all the cuts. It sounds like everyone will be stretched a little extra this year. Take care of yourself!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer! I just happened to look at the standards for music yesterday afternoon and HOLY CANOLLI! I'm going to have to do a little more than just practice singing kid's songs in the car and shower!
      Jenn

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  5. I'm sorry to hear that too. So often people don't think about the long-term effects of their decisions. :(

    NotJustChild'sPlay

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    Replies
    1. Ugh...no kidding! I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all!

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