Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Input on strategic plan?

APP parents, what would you like to see in the district's new strategic plan? Sue Peters is on the strategic plan community task force and asked for a thread on what should be included. Please discuss in the comments.


Greg Linden said...

Let me post this, from Sue Peters, as the first comment to start the discussion.


What would the advanced learning community like to see included in the district's new Strategic Plan??

Hi everyone,

I have been fortunate enough to be included in the district's Strategic Plan community task force which will help shape the direction of the district for the next five years or so.

We're having our next meeting tomorrow and will continue to meet a few more times after that.

I am on the task force as a parent in general (and a founder of Parents Across America) and a representative of the advanced learning community.

So I invite any ALO/APP/Spectrum and other families to send me any thoughts, visions, ideas or concerns that you would like to see included or addressed in the district's new plan.

Clearly a home for north-end APP, the future of APP at Hamilton, reinvigorating Spectrum, and capacity issues in general need to be addressed by any plan. What else?

So please feel free to contact me with your thoughts so I can best represent our community. You can post your input here, or contact me offline at smlpeters AT gmail.


Sue Peters

8-year Lowell/Lincoln/Hamilton APP parent
Founding member, Parents Across America

Mom of Misunderstood Gifted Son said...

I'd like to see more teacher education about gifted students made available for teachers of general ed. classrooms.

Our highly capable/gifted students come up through general ed classrooms and are often misunderstood / not recognized unless the parent is aware of it. How many gifted kids of less-educated families are falling through the cracks because the parents are completely unaware that there child could be gifted, and do not participate in testing? How many gifted kids are disciplined for being bored or distracted in their general ed class?

Some gifted kids stay at their neighborhood school for one reason or another. In the absence of advanced learning opportunities, at minimum they should be understood and accepted by their general ed teachers. I have talked to educators in my son's general ed school about APP, and some do not even believe in gifted education, let alone have any familiarity with the gifted literature.

Thanks Sue Peters!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see gifted ed training for those who actually teach in gifted ed programs first. I agree it would be great is all teachers had this awareness and understanding of effective strategies, but assuming resources are limited I would prioritize this for ADvanced Learning teachers. (And no, it's not about giving AL kids something "more", but rather just a teacher trained to meet their needs,)

I would also like to see an APP curriculum. I don't know how it is in elementary school, but at the middle school level it seems completely teacher-dependent, with little consistency across the program. There also doesn't seem to be a clear rationale for what is covered in which years, how skills build,etc. And with the lack of curriculum, many teachers assign a lot of busy work, rather than assignments that really challenge kids in a way that deepens understanding. I'd like to see a core book list for APP middle school literature as part of that--just having kids pick random books from college prep lists is not appropriate, as they aren't really in a position to fully understand some of these. With a core list, teachers can focus on discussions that help them analyze, interpret, question the writings rather than kids reading high level books on their own and likely not "getting" them.

Finally, I'd like to see the district act like it actually gives a damn about meeting the needs of these kids. Yes, some could thrive in more rigorous gen ed classrooms if appropriate differentiation were provided, but many cannot. The district needs to be willing to work with families to find creative solutions for some of the extreme outliers, such as allowing independent study ops at school.

Thanks for asking, Sue!

Anonymous said...

To Sue Peters-
Please see the comments from Concerned Parent on March 8th under the Open Thread post before this one. Meant to post here to provide the feedback you requested!


Anonymous said...

Why are teachers in ALO schools not supported in differentiating and why are they allowed to teach aggressively to the middle with no provisions for advanced learners at all? How long with AL let this go on with the result being more and more parents thinking that their kid can only be served by the APP?

Charlie Mas said...

I would like to see the District take responsibility to assure the quality and efficacy of its programs, including advanced learning programs.