A Promising New Beginning

I believe last night’s public forum, hosted by Beaumont Unified’s school board and administration, was a promising new beginning. It was billed as a public forum but it was actually a “special” board meeting. I was a little disappointed by the turnout of parents and the fact that the promised childcare services weren’t available until requested but I want to thank Superintendent Dr. Latham for the outreach effort. I know, with a little practice, the experience will improve in the future public forums Dr. Latham has planned.

Once again, I suggest the district establish one regularly scheduled board meeting a month as a community event. If childcare is available; the board meeting is coordinated with the district’s committee meetings; and everything is scheduled to start earlier than the current board meetings, I am sure parent involvement will increase. Coffee and refreshments after the meeting would provide an opportunity for board members and administrators to mingle with parents and community members. Parents, many of who stay at home for their kids, will look forward to once a month adult activity. Increased parent participation on the district’s committees and their involvement in the difficult decisions facing our school board will only benefit our kids.

My son enjoyed the childcare and wasn’t ready to leave when the board meeting/forum was over and my daughter was able to use the time to finish her homework while witnessing local government in action. My wife also enjoyed the opportunity to get out “on the town”. Many of you may have forgotten how difficult it is to find babysitters, especially on school nights. I didn’t have to leave early to be home in time for our nightly reading ritual and everyone was in bed by their school night bedtimes. It was an all-around positive experience.