Purpose and Mission Statement

We are a group of educators, family and community members dedicated to advocating for equitable, positive solutions to the challenges that our public schools face.

Mission Statement: SCAPE is organized to support public school education. SCAPE members believe that public schools are successful when parents, educators and the community are jointly committed to their success. We facilitate cooperation beyond the classroom, engage in school district governance, and advocate ways for schools to meet the diverse needs of all students in a changing world. We envision public schools that promote creative and analytical thinking, and treat education as a lifelong process.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September 2014 Summary

--Meeting days/times/locations: It seems like Wednesdays have become more difficult for members to meet on.  We decided to change our standard meeting date to the second Thursday of the month with the locations to alternate between the Allied neighborhood and the Lussier Center/Ashman Library.  This means that our next meeting will be held on Thursday October 9th.  We will confirm the location and get that information out to you ASAP. 

--Principal Search: Discussion centered around the process and making sure that communication of timelines and other decisions was improved.  There were many concerns that were raised because of the speed with which initial decisions were required to be made as well as the general lack of clarity provided by MMSD.  As it stands now, the committee that was created in the spring will continue.  It was suggested that the committee try and meet prior to any interviews or other actions, and to try and meet without administration present.

--Volunteering and Background Checks: We continued our conversations about the challenges that are involved in insuring the safety of students while encouraging all families to be involved at Crestwood. 

--Building Relationships: We would like to increase the diversity in our group (in terms of all demographics, neighborhoods, connections to Crestwood, etc.) and discussed ways to make this happen.  It is clear that we need to establish our legitimacy in a variety of ways and to reach out to a variety of organizations, groups and neighborhoods in order to build these relationships (both internal and external to the immediate school community).  Ideas included. . .
            More focused meetings with better "marketing" of specific topics
            Connecting with organizations and inviting speakers to meetings
            Finding out what different communities within our larger community are
                        interested in
            Using connections like Girls on the Run or Millennium Soccer as vehicles for
                        developing relationships.

--Long Range Planning: It was agreed that having a focused action for the year would be a positive for our group.  A couple of ideas were presented and we will continue this discussion at our next meeting.

1) Advocating for more SEA's (Special Education Assistants/Aides) in all schools.  This could be tied to implementation of the Behavior Education Plan as well as a way to increase diversity in staffing.  There could also be an improvement in the Grow Our Own initiatives where employees are assisted in becoming licensed professionals.

2) Support for the BEP.  There are many issues around this new approach to discipline and it will encounter many bumps in the road to implementation.  At the same time it is a worthwhile initiative that needs discussion and support. 

--Other Potential/Continuing Issues: Focusing on any topic or issue will not preclude us from having conversations about other things as well.  Issues that were raised included testing (Smarter Balanced), Common Core, Educator Effectiveness, and ELL/ESL needs.  It is a certainty that other issues will come up as the year unfolds.

It was also suggested that we reach out to MMSD and inquire as to what issues they might want our "assistance" with.  We have a number of connections and it might be interesting to hear what administration views as a priority for groups like ours to focus on.  Rest assured that we would continue to be an independent voice for our school, our community, our students and staff.  We wouldn't want it any other way, would we!!