Last week, I reluctantly delivered paperwork to begin the process of transferring my daughter to the Mesa View Middle School in Calimesa for sixth grade next year. I say reluctantly because, if we complete process, it means my daughter will have to leave her friends. It also means my son and daughter will have different vacation schedules and getting the kids to and from school will be more of a challenge. My wife and I are willing to make the necessary sacrifices because, from what we have seen, Mesa View's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) program has more to offer than anything in Beaumont and will help better prepare my daughter for a promising career in industries that reward individuals with the skills STEAM develops.
I have been working with Beaumont Unified School District’s administration to encourage them to offer a more complete STEAM curriculum. I know Superintendent Dr. Latham and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Goennier support STEAM and are planning to offer more in the future. A successful STEAM program demands a supportive community of parents. I will continue to do everything I can to help bring a STEAM program to Beaumont so in three years, when we are considering our options for my son, we will feel confident that keeping my son in Beaumont will be in his best interest.
On Monday March 11th at 6 pm, BUSD will be presenting a forum for parents about STEAM curriculum in Beaumont schools. The evening will begin with a definition of College and Career Readiness and STEAM. Dr. Goennier will present a draft of the district’s three year STEAM plans at the middle schools. The director of the Highland Springs Academy Charter School scheduled to open next year, Brent Bishop, will also be on hand to describe the Charter School’s plans for STEAM. There are also brief presentations by the Banning Science and Technology Center and Esri scheduled for the evening. After the presentations, there will be an opportunity for parents to ask questions and provide input on the direction a STEAM program should take and the type of program parents can support. I hope to learn about programs that will give me confidence that keeping my kids in Beaumont schools makes sense.
In the past, the district has held parent forums and administrators have tried to reach out to increase parent involvement. I always felt this was something the administrators believed they were required to do but not something about which they were passionate. Dr. Latham's administration, unlike the previous administration, has proven to me they are serious about including parents and the community in the planning and decisions about the direction of our kids' future. If parents want to see this support for parent involvement to continue, we need to show our support by attending forums like this and demanding a role in our kids' educational future.
Please join me for less than 90 minutes on Monday, March 11, 6pm at the Beaumont High School theater for the STEAM Forum. Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors are aware. Child care will be available. A strong turnout by parents will show the district we appreciate their efforts and would like to encourage more parent involvement in the future.