I attended the NHA/Lee Scholars Information Session this evening and I must say, I'm Impressed. As the discussion commenced and powerpoint presentation was shown it became very clear to me that the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools were doing, by charter school criteria, a wonderful job of teaching our children.
The "moral focus" of the teaching process reminded me very much of Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in the middle schools (my children attend Smith.
It was said that the middle school students (they aren't quite there yet but Greensboro is) are taught geometry and algebra in the 8th grade to prepare them for high school. CHCCS has that as a requirement for 8th grade and some students begin algebra 1 in the 7th grade.
When they discussed how each student of NHA managed schools are greeted at the classroom door by the teachers each morning with a bright hello it reminded me of Estes Hills Elementary School under the leadership of Cheryl Carnahan who has turned that school into a School of Excellence. And for the car riders they're greeted in the parking lot! Amazing.
All the things discussed that evening reminded me of the great services that CHCCS provides our student body as a defacto part of learning. I felt proud to be an engaged parent in this district. Another thing that the NHA/Lee Scholars said was important to the success of their schools.
A mailer went out mostly to parents in Carrboro as the NHA/Lee Scholars picked the list from a 3 mile radius from where they propose to build or lease the school. So, if you got one of the flyers you know you're within the area they expect to serve.
The meeting was held at the learning center of Maple View Farm. Way out on Dairy Land Road about 10 miles from my house. I wondered why they picked that location as opposed to Hargrave Community Center or the Seymour Center closer in town. It was said that it was the only place they could book. Due to the location not many people attended. There was a 4:00 session where about14 people were there, seven of which were there in opposition to the school. I attended the 7:00 pm session; there were six including me. Two students also showed up to hear what the school was about.
I'm against the charter school on the basis that it's a for profit entity that has found a way to milk tax payer dollars by fooling the public and pandering to parents who want their children magically educated. Much of the changes in schools happen because parents get engaged. Sometimes it has to be in a block that votes.
Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools is not perfect; even being one of the best districts in the state. With parent involvement it definitely can get better. It's already doing better than any of the NHA managed schools in the state and mostly nationwide.