The 09/10 School Year Is In The Books

Another school year has ended and it has been a good one. I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the improvements I've noticed for 09/10. Here are the successes that were important to me. I'd be interested in hearing about the ones that were important to others.

New District Website - The new site is kept current and provides a lot of useful information. It ismuch easier to navigate than the old version. I think the individual school sites are also an improvement but, speaking from experience, the schools could use more volunteer time from parents to help keep them current.

Benchmark Testing - I hear a lot of complaints, mostly from my eight year old daughter, about how there are always tests to take. Educators have been complaining for years about having to "teach to the test" but it is a reality and I think the benchmark tests will provide an invaluable tool for diagnosing the weaknesses for students as well as teachers.

Recognition of Volunteers - The district, this week, finally provided recognition to the outstanding volunteers in every school. The schools have been honoring their volunteers for years but I think it is important for the administration and the board to also show their appreciation.

Board Transparency - I've seen a lot of improvement in the communication of the board members regarding their decision making process. I know the board meetings are much longer but I am getting a better idea of what the thought processes are in their decision making. I think there is still a long way to go and I will continue to encourage thisnext year.

The Parent Academy - It is important to me to see the district making an effort to reach out to parents and I think the PA meetings have been a great step forward. It would be great to see regularly scheduled nights, maybe once a trimester, so parents could begin to include these events in their annual planning.

Anyone who is familiar with my posts, knows that I appreciate all the people that make up BUSD. I think the teachers, classified staff, district office staff and volunteers are good people and outstanding at what they do. Contrary to popular opinion, I appreciate the work of our administrators and yes, even the board members. I think many times the administration is moving in the wrong direction and that the board needs to show more leadership but I appreciate the challenges they face. I think it is key to the success of our kids that we parents get more involved and make sure the board and administration know what is important to our families.

You may have noticed I haven't written much lately. I have been very involved with the Beaumont Spirit Run (9/11/10). I think the work we are doing to produce this fundraising run to benefit all Beaumont schools, is going to provide a solid beginning for developing a much needed educational foundation in Beaumont. We desperately need volunteers and sponsors to make our first event the kind of success we can build on in the future. Please get involved as a sponsor or as a volunteer. You can find out more information by going to our website www.BeaumontSpiritRun.org<http://www.BeaumontSpiritRun.org> or by sending an email to info@BeaumontSpiritRun.org.

Thank you and have a great summer!