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Don't dismiss the $410k. This may ba a part of sending the AHS teachers to others schools where attritiuon has occured. This can be an actual number! You need to deal with the issues as presented by MCS.
Yes, it is a short timeframe but you can not rely on an extension. It should be a 24 / 7 activity! Maybe you can get a couple of weeks.
These kind of comments offend others in MCS. Involve them . . . you will have more of a chance . . .
My thoughts . . . trash them if you will but . . . instead of the supporters being on this site and making comments that anger other teachers, parents, and other community members. They should be moving past the emotional reasons as to why this school should stay open and work on a cohesive business plan that includes a detailed plan to secure the funding to keep AHS open. Certaintly others have made rude comments but they have very little to lose, you have your school to lose.
Education is a business! Present a singular business approach that is based on numbers not emotions(not having many people at a meeting giving multiple suggestions). Have one person presenting a well thoughtout plan on behalf of all the school commuity, maybe involving members of other school communities as well. The superintendent and the board members are business people, they make decisions from spreadsheets. Sure they care a great deal about the children but it is about the larger picture meaning over 2000 children not just 260. How can keeping AHS open benefit the entire MCS? How can some of the outstanding things at other schools be incorporated into AHS? How can thios ordeal make the entire MCS better?
I think it is a shame that a model similar to the one at AHS could not be developed for ALL schools in MCS. Maybe part of the business plan could be to involve other schools and parent communities to create better schools throughout MCS. Right now it has to feel like it is AHS against the world! It doesn't have to be that way . . .
It is not significant who places the cap.
Also 24.5 is below many, if not most, other 5th grade classes in schools in MCS. This also fluctuates depending on the grade level.
The fact remains that AHS has on average less students per teacher and there fore the employment costs of the teacher is spread across less students therefore resulting in a higher cost per student based on payroll.
There are also other basic fixed costs just required to "open the doors" that are spread across less students (260 ve 600) resulting in increased costs assigned to each student.
Based on many parents from AHS and self reported information posted by AHS administrators and MCS there is a significant difference. The difference can be as much as 5-6 students more per class in other MCS schools.
Based on self reported information of several sites AHS "brags" about around 20 students per class on average compared to 28-29 per classes in other schools.
Also it is importand to note the difference from funds / services received vs the expenses to operate.
The free / reduced lunch program is a federal program not state and much of the financial benefits are received in services and no funds are actually received by each individual school.
I continue to be amazed at the personal, mean, and hostile comments made by several people in these posts. Its sad . . .
Comparing AHS to other schools in MCS is not a valid comparison. AHS is operated like a private school and the private school formula works. Also this formula was not created at AHS; it has been around for almost 200 years. It started when public education broke of from privately run schools in the 1800s.
AHS is a “private” school because it is able to select its student body, it has a lower student / teacher ratio, it has a parent group that raises large amounts of funds for educational resources, it has a low student population, and other private school components. Due to it being governed as a private school, the scores should be higher because the model has proven to work for many years. What I continue to be amazed at is PE’s scores are only a few points below AHS (98 to 90) and PE operates as a traditional public school. Both schools are outstanding. There are also several schools in MCS that are in the high 80s and this leads me to believe, if you base a good school on testing, there are many MCS schools that do a great job of educating their students.
Another question I ask, that may not be politically correct, is why the rest of MCS doesn’t have the same school structure as AHS. Why create only one school to be a successful school (based on testing) and have others that may test at 20 or more points behind this school? The children that need the most help are in the areas with a percentage of high free / reduced lunch programs.
I would also say this (to open up a can of worms); the EOGs and EOCs are not a legitimate assessment of future academic success. So to base the quality of a school strictly on test scores is not a strong argument, especially in a state that continually falls in the lower half of the national state rankings. We have great faculties in MCS but, as has been pointed in earlier posts by Chris Smithson, NC has one of the lowest per pupil funding levels in the nation. Maybe the main issue is at the state level . . .?
Don’t get me wrong, I think the children at AHS deserve the highest level of education possible but I also feel that all other children deserve the same level as well.
I think . . . my opinion . . . the bottom line rests on finances and enrollment. My assumption (I know what assuming can lead to but here goes) AHS has a per student costs that is higher than other schools in MCS, has a plant that is in need of major work, and with only having 260 students (as opposed to over 600 in other MCS schools) integrating the AHS students into the rest of MCS is more feasible than integrating over 600 students.
As I stated earlier, I hope AHS can stay open but I also hope there is an opportunity for all children in MCS to receive the highest level of education.
BTW . . . I do not have any children in MCS nor am I an employee, in any form, of MCS.
I think AHS is a wonderful school and I wish all MCS schools could be operated the way AHS is operated. However, there are certainly many advantages AHS has over the other schools in MCS that lead to its success. The comparison with other public schools is not a fair one due to AHS being run like a private school (charter like?) with selective enrollment, small class sizes, low enrollment numbers, high achieving students, extremely active parent community, a generally positive and supportive home environments, etc. There is a great deal of research that shows that most private schools continuously out perform their counterparts in public schools for very similar reasons, especially the parent involvement, I feel that if other MCS schools were run similar to AHS their scores would rise significantly. Pinehurst Elem is only a few points behind in their ABC scores without many of the advantages.
My guess is that it costs more per student to operate AHS due to smaller class sizes equaling a higher payroll and a smaller number of students to spread basic operating “fixed” costs. MCS can not afford to operate other schools with the same cost structure. I think the issue is that with all the reduction of revenue to MCS they have realized that they can’t afford to finance AHS in the manner it has been operated. It is too bad that all MCS schools could not be operated in the same manner. The AHS formula works but it may be too costly for today’s budgets. Can the PTO come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to financially assist . . . probably not?
My hope is that AHS stays open but I feel that it is a near certainty that it will close. Dr. Purser is an intelligent and political savvy person and she would not make the public announcement of a "possible" closing if it wasn't nearly a done deal. If it does close, my hope is that the parents will join with the parents at the new school and stay just as involved as they are today with AHS. This will help raise the achievement level and ABC scores at all MCS schools.
I feel strongly that parents are the primary educators of their children. Student achievement is directly correlated to parent involvement. Yes, quality teachers count and, yes, resources help but parental involvement is the main component. The home environment does also play an important role in student achievement. Parent expectations, access to educational resources, parent’s level of education, and socioeconomic status all play a role in student success. These do not seem to be major issues at AHS.
I wish you well in your efforts but if it does close I hope you will work to raise the achievement level of the new school your child attends.
I think school_teacher was trying to compliment the parents of AHS. YOU are the primary reason for their success. AHS is very much like a private school where parents are very involved in the school and will help any where they can to help the children. (Yes, there are many involved parents at other MCS shcools as well but I would bet that the percentage is higher at AHS.) Sure the teachers have an impact but it is primarily the parents.
It is very understandable that most, if not all, of the children (and parents) will be upset but the level of impact on the children will be based on the parent's reaction. The children will feed off the positive or negative comments. This is not to say that you should not do all you can to keep AHS open but the children should feel that the move is not the end of their possibilities of academic success. These students will perform well whereever they go to school next year.
Also . . . the negative and hurtful comment at the end of your post was not needed since you don't know if the person is a warm and caring teacher or a cold person. However, I do understand that you are frustrated and possible angry but to take it out on a person trying to give the parents of AHS a compliment is not the best way to respond to her / him.
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