CHCCS votes to expand Mandarin Dual Language



Open Office Hours with Mia Burroughs and Lee Storrow

Join Chapel Hill - Carrboro City School Board Member Mia Burroughs and Chapel Hill Town Council Member Lee Storrow for open office hours to discuss your concerns in Orange County. We'll provide refreshments, just bring yourself. Whether you have a specific concern, or just want to hear more about what local government and the school system are doing, we want to hear from you!


Monday, January 13, 2014 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm


Joe Van Gogh Coffee 1129 AD Weaver Dairy Road Chapel Hill, NC 27514

"Focused Dialog" about Glenwood/Carrboro Elementary programs

Just got the following somewhat cryptic press release from the CHCCSS. As usualy I had to download an open a Word doucment and get more than halfway through it before I could even figure out what the topic is ("Enrollment Levels at Glenwood Elementary School").To learn more about this issue, see the recent Indy story: Redistricting Rankling Carrboro Parents.

I can theoretically understand the value of this type of  meeting, but it's hard not to feel like the schools would prefer that most of us are seen and not heard.


Focused Dialogue

6:00 p.m. - Monday, December 2 - East Chapel Hill High


Chapel Hill, NC - The goals, vision, and strategies of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) long range plan are rooted in a set of guiding principles. These guiding principles were crafted after significant input from staff, parents, community, and students. One of those principles reads "We believe in a culture that promotes collaboration, civility, mutual trust, and community partnerships."

In support of that belief, the administration of the CHCCS will be initiating focused dialogues in an effort to engage parents in meaningful conversations on important issues that impact our schools. Furthermore, it is our intent to provide parent representatives with accurate information about current initiatives. The PTA Council offered a number of suggestions regarding the make-up of these dialogue groups.

In order to maintain a workable group, it has been suggested that for an elementary school issue, for example, no more than four individuals from each school will be selected. At least one representative should come from the School Improvement Team and one from the PTA. Depending on the issue, a faculty representative may also be included. Other parent representatives would be selected from the general school community. All parents and community members are welcome to attend as there will be an opportunity for those who are not at the discussion tables to share input electronically.

"The focused dialogue model has been used in other school districts with tremendous success," said Superintendent Tom Forcella. "Parents and community members have an opportunity to discuss issues in greater depth and collaborate on recommendations."

A pilot focused parent dialogue will be conducted on the topic, "Enrollment Levels at Glenwood Elementary School." All elementary schools are asked to participate as potential solutions could ultimately impact some or all elementary schools. The event is set for 6:00 p.m. on December 2, 2013, in the East Chapel Hill High Commons.

This particular topic generated significant input from parents at the November 7, 2013 Board of Education meeting and is not slated to come back to the Board until January. The December 2 focused dialogue will provide sufficient time for the administration to combine the input from this session with other available information in order to make a recommendation to the Board of Education.

It is important to know that the parent dialogue is not meant to keep people out, but rather to invite a more representative parent voice in the decision-making process. As always, parents may utilize all the existing communication avenues such as email and public comment to voice their opinion. The parent dialogues simply add another layer to the conversation.

Thank you for your consideration as we attempt to improve communications with parents and community.



Monday, December 2, 2013 - 6:00pm


East Chapel Hill High School

CHHS Principal Unfamiliar with the Definition of Plagiarism

I was pretty surprised to read in the Independent that the new principal at Chapel Hill High has been copying large passages of text by other people and passing them off as her own memos, letter, and policies. What really shocked me, though was her indignant response:

"I'm not under the impression that I can't use that," [Sulura] Jackson said. "This is not anything that I'm selling. This is not anything that I'm using for personal gain."  

She is presumably being paid for serving as the pricipal, but she's trying to say that if she's not being graded, it shouldn't matter. Is this what we're teaching high schoolers?

And I was also disappointed, but not terribly surprised, to see this incredible response from the school system's rep:

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash referenced the school's transfers when discussing Jackson's case, blaming the public allegations against the new principal on "disgruntled folks over there who don't like change."

New Teacher Rules

The North Carolina Association of Educators just sent out a fact sheet about the NC legislature's action against teachers removing career status. Not only did they eliminate career status but they are eliminating due process to appeal decisions about the new evaluation instrument, length of contract, dismisal and bonus. I'm glad that I retired from teaching this year. It looks like the new rules will really mess up schools in North Carolina. One interesting suggestion is the idea that local school boards can create due process rules and better contracts. I hope CHCCS will do that. Loren



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