EDITORíS DESK: If the school board agrees...
If you're thinking about watching a District 11 Board of Education meeting and your mental status is in any way fragile, my recommendation is: Don't do it. You'll only
stagger away, the jolts of incivility stuck crosswise in your brain cells and wondering to yourself how the district ever gets anything done at all.
And yet it's pretty obvious a lot gets done. We here on the Westside will have a front row seat to the major bond-issue renovations at three schools this summer - Holmes Middle and Washington and Bristol elementaries. We're talking about work totaling more than five and a half million dollars. That's serious taxpayer money, and yet from every indication, those schools' principals - Brenda LeBrasse at Holmes, Steve Ferguson at Bristol and Terry Martinez at Washington - in conjunction with district facilities staff, teachers, parents and contracted architects, are handling matters at their respective campuses with care and forethought.
The most recent indication that the projects are in good hands was the recommendation to the board Sept. 27, asking to let those elementaries out three weeks early and the middle school one, so that the extensive work could start that much sooner. The plan had been the result of considerable thought and discussion. LeBrasse even set a new date for her school's "Super Hawk Day" in May mainly based on its impact on student morale.
Going into the board meeting, one district official had suggested there might be a teacher/parent backlash (because the bond-issue elementary schools will additionally disrupt people's lives by having longer school days from mid-October on, in order to make up the time lost by the early release). Yet no opposition emerged. But you want the surest sign that local school leaders are on the right track? The school board vote was unanimous. For them to agree on anything these days, you know it's got to be special.