Campaign Description

Here's what this campaign is about:

Ensuring equal opportunities in curriculum and programming for all students

Providing our students and faculty with safe, healthy, technology-driven learning environments

Committing to our neighborhood schools

Guaranteeing responsible stewardship of public funds

Celebrating the diversity within our district

Engaging parents to become active participants in the schools

Making data-driven decisions with measurable results

Email us at or call 331-6746

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On

Long time, no see folks. It's good to be back.

It's been an incredibly busy year since my last blog post and despite many, many reasons to write about my thoughts on the goings on in the district, I have not done so.  There have been significant challenges we have faced, pitfalls to avoid, and decisions that have kept me up at night. Throughout all of it, I have had many ask if I would ever go back to writing my blog. In fact, the blog title even seems inappropriate now. Simply put, I have not had the energy to do so. My real job, our family calendar and my volunteer commitment to the ICCSD Board leave me completely drained by days end most of the time.

This last 24 hours, though, has me spinning.....

All that I believe in regarding fairness and equity in our classrooms has been dealt a significant blow by one USDA letter regarding the usage of FRL for redistricting purposes.  Was the Diversity Policy that passed in Feb, 2013 perfect?  Not by a long shot.  When the policy got referred to the P&E committee two months ago, I viewed it as an opportunity to tweak the policy, to address valid concerns, and to make it a stronger and better-backed commitment from the Board to combat one of our biggest barriers to student achievement: Poverty.  I firmly believe that we were on track to do so and would have brought a much improved policy back to the Board to consider in the near future. That's all on hold now. 

For me, this isn't about race. This isn't about neighborhood schools.  This isn't even about the various municipal governments.  For me, this is entirely about trying to ensure that every single one of our over 13,000 students receives an excellent education and has a level playing field.  Right now, too many of our kids are at a disadvantage.  I am not okay with that. None of us should be. 

Quite frankly, I am shocked and disappointed that there are people in this community, my community for nearly forty years, who are happy to see that the most meaningful step this district has taken (flawed, though it may have been) toward correcting this inequity was just swept away.  This is a major loss for our students, especially the ones on the wrong side of the achievement gap. No one should be celebrating political points when students are the casualties. we sit, back at square one.  Tabula rasa.  It's time for a gut check.  I am choosing to take this opportunity to focus on what is right and do all that I can to ensure that we improve our student achievement. Whatever happens next, I will continue to use that as my compass. I will continue to advocate for all students.  I will refocus my efforts on finding ways to work with my board colleagues to right the ship. I will keep calm and carry on.