07-07-2011, 07:02 AM #1
Do we need a South Walton School Association?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.
07-07-2011, 08:15 AM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Eastern Lake Est., SoWal, FL
JDarg, Sounds like it might be needed now more than ever. With South Walton schools, Bay Elementary and Emerald Coast Middle School, being put in Freeport and North Walton majority districts with proposed redistricting plan 3D, the opportunity for significant citizen input, personal participation and a locally elected representative will be diminished.
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07-07-2011, 08:52 AM #3
JDarg - this sounds like a great way to get more parents involved in their childs education without the hassle of fundraising & room parties! And you are right - even though we are fortunate to live in this wonderful area - the majority of homes with children attending our schools (in sowal area) are 2 income families & can't make it to the Board mtgs in DFS. Not to mention if children are involved in extracurricular activities too... I never understood why the board doesn't meet in the North one month & the South the next - alternating wouldn't be so bad would it?
Anyway - I have been involved in my childrens schools for approx 9 years, and now that one is in middle school I am wondering if the level I was involved at has done any good for college prep reasons....
I am interested in something like this!! Getting the high school geared toward a college prep magnet would be great. Parents all over the county send their kids to the South end now for better education; no reason why it can't be stepped up.
If you are willing to start organize something (which it looks like you've been brainstorming already) I know a several other Butler parents along with myself that would be willing to be involved in this.
07-07-2011, 08:53 AM #4
Although it has been a few years since I have had kids in school, I don't necessarily think the political climate on the school board has been negative towards south Walton schools and personally don't think it will change. I do think the county commission changes could be a negative when it comes to how the county is operated.
07-07-2011, 11:50 AM #5
07-07-2011, 05:16 PM #6
A little info about the school based decision making in the link from the post above--
The process is called School-Based Decision Making. As of July 1996, every school in Kentucky uses this decision making process. A few schools are exempt by statute. A school council (usually consisting of two parents, three teachers, and a principal) works together to develop policies and approve plans to help the children at that school succeed. With School-Based Decision Making, the people who are closer to the school and students now make many policies and decisions that were previously made by state government or local school boards.
07-08-2011, 04:45 PM #7
I think this is a great idea! Keep me updated, as we are in this area for the long haul and want the best!!!
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07-08-2011, 05:36 PM #8
South Walton seems to be such a community in transition- and it might be a little unrealistic to expect schools, local government systems, etc. to stay the same as they were in 2001, or 1991 for that matter- there are so many new families, many moving here in the last 5 years. Yes yes I know there are many small town things that we don't want to see changed, but at the same time when you reach a certain population level and demographic, change is inevitable. Let's make it great.
I am excited to see what comes out of this conversation- the goal of my post was to "workshop" a few ideas and hopefully get input from people in South Walton and beyond.
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