I posted my comments below in the thread about the Bay teacher rehiring issue, but I would like to see the idea about a SoWal parent, teacher, and administrator group discussed. If you are a parent or teacher at a school in South Walton, what would you like to see? Goals? Structure? Do you think our needs are met, or not? In what ways? What are your expectations for your child's education? What are your expectations for your involvement at the school level and system level? I am sure we all have different thoughts and ideas, but maybe there are a few common ideas that could be a starting point for everyone coming together.
For example- I would like to see the high school become a college prep magnet, and the seeds for that shift in philosophy would have to be sown at the elementary and middle school level.
Our South Walton schools do need our help and all need to work together, but it is much broader than the teacher rehires at Bay. We need an organization- like some sort of South Walton School Association, with clear goals and objectives about how to make sure our voices are heard and our needs are understood- and for our parents to have more say in the direction and future of our schools. While there have been some instances where parents have been successful in making changes, the overall atmosphere in SoWal is always the feeling of having to battle and struggle for changes and trying to make the school system stretch to accommodate our high expectations that we have brought in from other school systems around the country.
The teacher issue at Bay and how it was handled was very unfortunate IMO, but it is not the only issue that needs our attention down here. Next week's school board meeting is a budget workshop, so if people are interested in where the money goes and can get there during work hours, then the drive to DeFunk is worth their time. In the meantime, maybe the PTOs at each school can be contacting each other about some sort of association- I will speak to Bay's PTO president today. There is no reason why our schools can't be known at least regionally for their excellence and academic strengths- we certainly have the parents living here who expect no less.