I attended the Menifee Union School District board meeting today.
New School Board Member Wanted
The four board members, minus Fred Tyman who resigned a couple weeks ago, voted to appoint his replacement, rather than hold a special election. Trustee Irey said that it didn't make much sense to hold an election with the November election coming up soon.
How to apply to be on the Board? Submit a resume, with introductory cover letter, to the district offce at...
Office of the Superintendent
Menifee Union School District
30205 Menifee Road, Menifee, CA 92584
The deadline to submit is Friday, August 1, 2008, 12:00pm.
To qualify, you have to be at least 18 years old, a citizen of California, a resident of the school district (see map), and a registered voter, not disqualified by the Constitution or laws of the state from holding civil office, and is eligible to be elected or appointed a member of a governing board of a school district without further qualifications.
Candidates will be interviewed by the school board on Monday, August 11, beginning 9:00am, and will be voted on at a meeting the following day, August 12.
The position will last only until the next election in November, 2008.
Fred Twyman Honored
The school board recognized Past Board President, Fred Twyman for his service with some parting gifts, and one of those glass-award-thingies. Twyman recieved a standing ovation from the audience and everyone.
Out-of-District Transfer Requests
Yet more parents asking for their kids to transfer out of the district.
Denied - involving a child currently attending Lisa J. Mails Elementary in Murrieta. This family used to live within the Murrieta School District, but recently moved into the Menifee School District. The student will be entering his 6th grade this September at Mails Elementary, and wants to continue there to graduate. Here in Menifee, 6th grade is actually Middle School. So if forced to attend in Menifee, he would not have an elementary school graduation.
Approved - involving a family that had lived in the Val Verde School District, but had lost their house to foreclosure. So, they moved in with some relatives here in Menifee. This relative happens to be a teacher in the Val Verde School District, and has kids that attend that district, instead of attending here in Menifee. The board recognized that the teacher-priviledge of allowing interdistrict transfers also extends to their nieces and nephews, as well as a child's need to attend the same schools as their cousins.
Denied - this involved a mother with two kids who officially live in the Menifee School District. However, the mother has a childcare hardship, and her kids are having to live in Temecula with their grandparents, Monday through Friday, the entire time. Only on weekends, apparently, do they come home to live their mother. The mother wants the kids to transfer to the Temecula School District to make it easier to transport the kids from school to their grandparents house. But the Board noted that the mother has the children's legal residence in Menifee, and that was the deciding factor.
Professional Learning Communities (PLC)
Superintendent Callaway presented a short video about "Professional Learning Communities", a concept which the school district has implemented.
PLC is best described as a process towards changing the working environment amongst teachers into something more beneficial for students.
It seemed to me the best way to understand this is to compare two places of employment. One place is full of employees who don't care about what they're doing, only care about their paychecks, take too much time on breaks, and surf the Internet all day long. The second place has employees totally excited about their work, totally care about their customers, always discussing ways to improve performance, and voluntarily working overtime because they care.
PLC is simply a master plan on how to transform the first work place into the second.
That's not to say that our school district is something like the first example, or the second. Those are just two extremes I came up with. PLC is just a way to improve upon something.
Trustee O'Donnell asked about what results can be seen from the data our district is collecting. Assistant Superintendent Karen Valdes responded that we are just now collecting the data, and that it would take more time to evaluate it.
Trustee Peters asked if the teachers are totally signing on to this PLC plan. Valdes nodded her head in approval and said they were. But countered that PLC is something that takes a long time for measurable results to manifest.
This all reminds me of the time when I used to do collections work for medical clinic in Stanton. The owner of the clinic brought in a consultant to find ways to streamline operations, cut out the bottlenecks, and ultimately improve the patient experience. Those of us who worked in the back office despised having this consultant tell us what we should be doing, particularly since we were all hired for our expertise.
I'm curious to hear from teachers out there how well PLC is doing within their school.