Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The District must do better to increase parental involvement

District 150 has a Parental Advisory Group Committee that has been active for the last three years. Parental Involvement in Title 1 schools is a mandate. Unfortunately, there are no parents from Title 1 schools (schools South of War Memorial) on the Parental Advisory Group Committee. There is no PTO representative from Woodruff, Manual or Central, but two from Richwoods.

Mrs. Dryden has a platform that has allowed her to be able to speak on behalf of the interests of the people in her school; she would be remiss if she didn't take advantage of it. However, as long as the District does not have parents from schools South of War Memorial on this Advisory Group Committee, I will continue to raise the issue.

York Powers is the District's new student, family and community coordinator, who replaces Sandra Burke. I have let Mr. Powers know about my hope that the District would make an effort to reach out to a more diverse group of parents. Although Mr. Powers has not seen fit to respond to my e-mail inquiry that I sent approximately a week ago, I remain hopeful that he has taken it into consideration. We'll see what happens.

Our school is better than your school

One of my biggest pet peeves with District 150 is the appearance that the only parents, who have opinions that matter, live North of War Memorial.

First we get reports that the Richwoods PTO feels that uniforms are a negative and Richwoods students should be exempt from wearing them.

Now we have a report that the Richwoods PTO feels that because they are entitled to their tradition and school pride, District 150 should not hold graduations at the Civic Center.

Why is it that we only hear what the parents on the Richwoods PTO want? Don’t we have other PTOs in District 150? What about what they want?

Contrary to what the Richwoods' PTO appears to believe, Richwoods is not the only school in District 150 that matters. Hopefully Lathan & Co. will make this clear.


Anonymous said...


The original article included quotes from all three PTO presidents and they did not call Jill a second time. They just used the same quote to round up their new article. There is nothing nefarious. Jill is not saying Richwoods is the only school that has tradition. She is saying that all schools have traditions and memories attached.

Anonymous said...

Emerge raises a good point people with the voice to speak on behalf of parents should consider the entire District not just what is best for their little group.

Emerge Peoria said...

Ohh "nefarious" one of my favorite words.

"...they just used the same quote to round up their new article"

Oh, I see, that explains why "they" didn't use a quote for Peoria High PTO (the largest high school in Peoria) or the quote from Manual.

Anonymous said...

1. Peoria High is not the largest
2. "they" is the PJstar...again not a shadow group of people
3. I like nefarious as well
4. Jill Dryden did not ask to bear the brunt of your commentary. She cares about her kids just as you do and was asked for a quote and her quote applied as much to Peoria High as Richwoods. If you can't see it then maybe you have emotional blindeness.

Anonymous said...

Emerge, you are sounding a lot like Pam Adams these days.....this is NOT a compliment.

Fancyannfree said...

That's a bunch of crap! I too believe the schools should be allowed to hold their won graduations. Breaking down schools and shifting kids around is disruptive enough,now they want to pack them all in one place for graduations. They were concerned about combinding schools would create problems with fights and so on. How is this going to work? I myself would be afraid to attend such a circus. Good luck!!!!

Emerge Peoria said...

You make me giggle Anonymous. Emotional blindness, Pam Adams - what the hell are you talking about?

Why are you attacking me Anonymous?I didn't attack your friend Jill. She actually seems like a nice person.

The commentary is about the school district allowing parents from other schools to have a voice in school business, equal to the voice that Richwoods has.

Can you speak to that; or are you just here to attack.

Laura Petelle said...

I know you know that the PJStar doesn't call the district and say, "Who should we get comment from among the parents?" Mostly they just either a) call parents they know or b) start down the PTO list until someone answers a phone. I presume their coverage "weights" towards Richwoods because more PJStar reporters live in that area and know other Richwoods parents.

In terms of contact with the Board, I hardly ever hear from the Richwoods PTO.

Rachel or Martha could speak to the composition of the parental advisory group.

Emerge Peoria said...

The Parental Advisory Group Committee is a unique vehicle for parents concerns to be heard on the Board level and I am grateful that it is in existence.

Rachel and Martha are aware of my on going concern that parents from South of War Memorial have a voice. They can only do so much, it is up to the District's Administration to make it happen. To date - they have not.

Sharon Crews said...

Who is York Powers? Has Sandra Burke been let go from District 150 or is she working in some other capacity?
Woodruff parents did go before the board to plead with the board not to close Woodruff--look where that got them?
With regard to the changes with graduation, my greatest complaint is that parents, students, and teachers from all high schools were not consulted. This decision is not one that carries any far-reaching educational consequences, so there is absolutely no reason why the board couldn't have forums, etc., to allow those most affected by graduation to voice their opinions. What is even worse, the board was going to make this decision without even voting at a public meeting. I believe they have since seen the error of their ways and are now planning to vote. The fact still remains that I believe that the Civic Center has (or was) already reserved for graduation. That has been denied, but I have heard from what I considered to be a reliable source that a wedding party already was told that their planned event would conflict with graduation--and they had already given a down payment to the Civic Center, which was subsequently returned. That can still be considered a rumor but I believed it.
One subject that they haven't yet discussed is the order in which the graduations will be held. The subject came up on Monday about Orthodox Jewish students who cannot participate on Saturdays (before sun down). That probably means that Richwoods (the most likely school to have Jewish students--not my opinion but that expressed by a board member) will have to have their graduation last.
I wonder if anyone wants a graduation before noon?

Anonymous said...

It is two different people I did not make an attack on you.I merely feel that you are biased towards RHS and read Jill's comments as bragging on her school. I did not think that interpretaion is accurate and so I was trying to give you an alternative explanation that includes Manual and Peoria High. The newspaper writer decided that he wanted to reuse her quote and not the other two. Maybe he liked it better or maybe it fit his narrative...idk. I was not the one who compared you to Pam Adams. I actually like wht you say most of the time, but just disagree with your assessment in this case.

Anonymous said...

Oh and to your point on equality. I agree that all three HS areas should be listened to by the ditrict. If that is not happening, then Lathan and Co. should address it.

Emerge Peoria said...

Thanks Anonymous, I appreciate your explanation. I see why you would think I was being critical of Jill, after all I posted her picture with the comments.

Jill is a wonderful spokesperson for her school. She is clearly very proud of what they have accomplished and she should be. Again, she would be remiss if she did not take every opportunity to articulate what she feels is in the best interest of her children and the school she represents.

I appreciate you pointing out the bias in my statement.You are right - that was a bit heavy handed, that is why I offered more of an explanation on the commentary.

Emerge Peoria said...


Sandra Burke retired.

Frustrated said...

I tell my kids that the first rule of success is "showing up." I never miss an opportunity to "show up" at school. I attend all academic and general info sessions, read the school web site, and volunteer when I can. I want the school to KNOW ME and KNOW I have my EYES FOCUSED on the matter. Nobody can be a better advocate for you and your children than YOU!! I know you understand this and can tell you practice it on a regular basis, but other parents need to constantly push themselves to SHOW UP and stand up for the best interests of their students.

Sud O. Nym said...

My problem was with this sentence of yours: "Contrary to what the Richwoods' PTO appears to believe, Richwoods is not the only school in District 150 that matters."

I don't know how you get that sense from one quote of a PTO president expressing her desire to see graduation held at the school.

But I don't disagree that more parents, from ALL schools, need to be more vocal. Maybe D150 needs to more to encourage a diversity of opinion.

Dennis in Peoria said...

For those interested in knowing more about Dr. Lathan's goals and philosophies on education for Dist. 150, here is a preview of a CAPtions TV show featuring her. It is about 7-8 minutes long. The whole interview can be seen on CAPtions, Sunday, Oct. 3rd at 5 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7 pm, and later that night at Midnight, on Comcast Cable 22.
Engin Blackstone is the guest on the 2nd segment, but not in this clip.


Joel Dryden said...

Thanks for your passion about District 150. It's great to have these kinds of exchanges. I've bookmarked your blog and plan to return often.

Opinions are funny things when all they stray from reality. But as you say in your info on the side bar, these comments are your "two cents."

Richwoods PTO did have two members sitting in on the PAC this past spring. It was an exception as the role of president was being passed from one individual to another. That's just good leadership in my book. Jill Dryden, the is currently the only RHS PTO representative at the PAC table.

I hope the drum you beat is not one of shame for parents for being present at these kinds of meetings, but more of a challenge to the parents to get involved. I completely agree with "Frustrated's" comments about showing up.

We need more adults who are going to inspire students, (and their parents) to great horizons.

Emerge Peoria said...

Hi Joel:

My "passion" is working to increase parental involvement.

I appreciate your "two cents", please do come back often. I would encourage you to take a look at what I have already posted and you will see that the "drum I beat" is one of inclusion.