What else happened at the 12/4/07 meeting

1. School calendars.

Next year’s school calendar was approved, with Chairman Alan Duncan voting “nay.” The schedule includes the following:

The first day of school for students: Aug. 26

Winter Break: Dec. 22 – Jan. 2

Spring Break: April 13 – 17

The last day of school for students: June 10

See this News & Record link or this GCS website.

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2. Billion-dollar bond on its way to the Co-Cos.

Last night, the Gang of 11 voted to send that nearly-half-a-billion-dollar school bond referendum down the street to the County Commissioners so they can schedule it for the May ballot.

Good luck.

Darlene Garrett spoke up for our children last night.

N&R: “The bottom line is: This is the public money. We need to build schools as efficiently as possible. I am just concerned that these numbers are too high,” board member Darlene Garrett said.

Garrett voted against the measure, along with Deena Hayes and Amos Quick. I, too, would have voted “nay.”

I also found it laughable when Garrett asked facilities chief Joe Hill and Leo Bobadilla if they continued their research into why Charlotte-Mecklenburg builds their schools cheaper than Guilford. Leo’s response: “We’re going to schedule a field trip down to Charlotte shortly.”

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/LeoPic1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Leo…man, why hasn’t that been done already? Wrong answer…

Let me remind you that these are Terry Grier’s hand-chosen people…Grier, our superintendent of the year, the one that just got a hefty raise…

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The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/middle/ferndale/Ferndale.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. 3. Speaking of Grier, he’s ruffled some feathers over at Ferndale Middle School. Ferndale is one of the schools he wants to “experiment” with in terms of piloting an involuntary extended school year.

Many Ferndale parents showed up last night, and made their voices heard.

Today’s High Point Enterprise: Fern­dale Middle School parents lobbied during a school board meeting on Tuesday against a proposal to keep kids in school 20 additional days.

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/elementary/washington/Washington.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. School officials want to pilot an extended-year calendar at Ferndale Middle and Wash­ington Elementary schools as they develop new magnet programs at those schools, but Ferndale parents attend­ing the meeting on Tuesday are largely against such a pro­posal. Parent Liz Day brought along a petition with 60 signa­tures objecting to the longer school year.

Several parents spoke dur­ing the meeting, some con­cerned with how the extended calendar would impact sports. A number of speakers who addressed the Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday said the change would only stall the progress the school has been making.
“Those attending now are sending positive messages about where the school is go­ing. Teachers are motivated and children are safe,” parent Michaux Crocker said. “We are moving forward. Please don’t halt the progress.”

And once again, Board member Darlene Garrett spoke up for our children:

Guilford County Board of Education member Darlene Garrett said mandating the additional days would be a “disservice” to parents. She suggested staff look at the pos­sibility of offering a summer enrichment program for low ­performing kids during those 20 extra days instead of requir­ing all students to attend.
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The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.eacgs.com/Portals/0/Gallery/Album/8/VH-1-BANNER.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

4. More spoke up last night in support of arts and music education and decried recent cuts in cultural arts. The issue will finally be dealt with at the next Board meeting later in the month.

Today’s News & Record:

…local arts advocates, Greensboro educators and one talented sixth-grader packed the school board’s meeting room to argue for extending arts education in the district.

School officials cut the number of art and music classes in some elementary schools this year to add Spanish classes.

The district also cut art and music classes to expand reading and math instruction time at the middle school level and eliminated an arts coordinator job.

The arts advocates said research shows that education in music and art can improve students’ achievement in other areas of study.

“The arts are what develop total human beings,” said Maryhelen Mayfield, executive director of the Greensboro Ballet.

She told the board how music education helped her in math. “The arts are what let us communicate with other cultures despite our differences.”

Brent Davis, Mendenhall Middle School band director, said that music is considered a core academic subject under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

“I would not be here teaching in your school district and enjoying every single day of it, if it weren’t for my middle school band director,” Davis told the school board. “That is why art is very important in our schools. It has a lot to give our students right now.”

Charlotte Mannerstrale, a sixth-grader at The Academy at Lincoln, joined the chorus of adults asking that the school board expand art education in the schools.

She said her elementary school music teacher inspired her to study singing.

To prove her point, she sang “I Got the Sun in the Morning” from “Annie Get Your Gun” – after which Chairman Alan Duncan briefly waived his no-clapping policy.

Duncan said the board plans to address the arts issues at its Dec. 20 meeting.
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E.C. 🙂

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