This committee met regularly every month, and committee members were picked by the principal at one’s child’s school. Dr. Woodward always came to the meetings, and she was responsive to most concerns. The following is a list (written at the time) of things we asked her to address:
RESULTS OF THE PARENT ADVISORY GROUP INPUT:
These were the replies from Superintendent Woodward. While they weren’t all what I had hoped, and they sometimes got messed up in the translation, at least this superintendent tried to listen to parents and gave them a venue. Other superintendents have also had these groups, but since Dr. Woodward they have been stacked with sycophants and ringers and are of no use.
1. “Vendors Show” Being studied for fall. Dr. Woodward chose to either use my suggestion for something SHE wanted, or she didn’t understand what I was asking. Later I learned that KISD had a “vendor show,” but it was for employees, and my suggestion had been that the many groups who sold stuff for the purpose of raising funds could use such a show!
2. “Gifted Education” This has been a developmental and planning year for the G & T Program Expansion. Two Task Force Committees were appointed to assist with this process.
The goal of the first Task Force was to recommend a program model and identification procedures for gifted students enrolled in Katy ISD in grade K-12. This Task Force has reconvened to consider comments from the Parent Advisory Council and parents.
The second Task Force is now researching curriculum and evaluation models. Committee recommendations are expected to go the Board soon.
–The GT program has never been what it should be. At that time, they didn’t identify GT students after the fifth grade, so anyone moving their child into the District after the fifth grade had no chance of participating in the program. What idiot would set up a program that ignored about a third of its GT students? The answer is, one that didn’t have a clue about what to deliver after the 8th grade, or one that didn’t understand the purpose of a GT program, or someone who wasn’t very smart! Dr. Woodward inherited the mess that was the GT program.
3. “Driver Training” Driver Education capacity for summer, 1986, has been doubled due to student interests and parent requests. Revision of the program is being considered.
4. “Holiday Activity Guidelines” Principals will be surveyed in the near future to determine history of new guidelines since last November and to gather input for revision. In other words, they weren’t going to fix it.
5. “National Honor Society” National Honor Society sets minimums – each campus can go above and set process. A committee is currently studying all extra-curricular groups.
Unfortunately they may have “studied” all extra-curricular groups, but they never did anything to fix all the problems of extra-curricular activities or the National Honor Society. I address EC groups elsewhere on this web site. I really tried to get the next superintendent and the school board to fix EC groups, but no one wanted to do that. So every year something comes up that if there had been District wide rules and standards, the problem would never have appeared. The manner of selecting students for admission to the NHS is done incorrectly. I can only guess about why that is. Students are supposed to be SELECTED fro membership based upon the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and service. For students to have to “APPLY” for membership is just WRONG!!! Such a process defeats the purpose of the organization. IT IS AN HONOR SOCIETY NOT A CLUB!!!! Membership is by SELECTION not APPLICATION!!!
6. “Calendar for 1986-87” Parent input was instrumental in the Memorial Day holiday being added. Don’t blame me for that one. Memorial Day is a Yankee holiday, and there’s no way I would have advocated having it as a holiday! We only have it because so many Yankees, not liking where they lived in the North, moved to Houston and have messed with our Southern culture and demanded a holiday at this time. Memorial Day was established to honor those who fought with the North in the War Between the States.
7. “P.E. Class Size” A class size survey was done and submitted to the Area Superintendents. Obviously this answer doesn’t say they are going to do anything about the large classes. Parents on the committee felt like there were not enough teachers to cover the activities of such large classes nor was there enough for them to do or that there were enough facilities to serve such large classes.
8. “Scheduling of Junior High Girls’ Athletic Classes and Practice Times” The Athletic Department is looking into the possibility of recommending a program on club or intramural basis for 1986-87 if economics permit.
Actually this answer doesn’t address the question that was posed. The question had to do with equal use of athletic facilities by both girls and boys. [We didn’t know how to say “Title IX” in those days.]
9. “Paint Tennis Courts” Placed on capital improvement list (because of economic conditions, may be lost as a priority item).
10. “Adult Education Program” During this year, we have expanded the program. We are offering a summer program because of input. Plans are to expand the program more next year with more course offerings for both adults and students. A community education council will be developed to gather community input to improve the program. This answer is sort of a non-answer! The community education program is designed mostly to provide a job for teachers at night or in the summer. In no way does it actually address the needs and wishes of the community. Next time you receive in the mail the taxpayer funded brochure describing “adult” classes, give it a look and decide for yourself if the classes offered serve our community. I for one have looked for years for a course that teaches one how to do a web site. And yes, I know I need one badly. Surely there are others besides me who would benefit from such a course!
11. “Kindergarten Program” Procedures were changed this year to give the parents an opportunity to choose the session they want for their child. I lobbied for the ability of parents to decide which section they wanted for their child–morning or afternoon. Unfortunately without much explanation or fanfare (and to just get your children away from you a year earlier than they already were and to provide free child care to the masses, they sooon increased the kindergarten school day to a full day! That was part of the dumbing down our kids effort that seeks to control children by getting them away from their parents for as much time as possible.
12. “Computer Rooms in Elementary Schools” We are planning to expand our computer facilities in the elementary schools, but [I] have not developed a plan at this time. At the time computer rooms full of computers were sitting idly in junior high and high school classrooms because not very many teachers [or for that matter superintendents or board members] knew how to use them, much less teach anyone else how to use them. But by golly we HAD the computers!
13. “Help for Victims of Child Abuse” All faculty members have been inserviced (another noun turned into a verb by an educrat) by the Katy ISD nurses in recognizing signs of child abuse and in proper procedures for getting help for these students.
The Katy ISD counselors and nurses went through an intense 3-hour training session on child abuse with Suzanne Councelman, a consultant form Harris County. [And by golly consultants from Harris County know WAY more than us hicks out here in the sticks!] Each participant received a training packet that included a training manual and handouts to be given to teachers. This information will be used in inservicing faculty members for the 1986-87 school year.
Ever notice how often public schools think they need to tell teachers what they already should know in an inservice meeting? Just another means of funding a program to support the hiring of another useless administrator!
14. “Authors Visiting Schools” A committee is now preparing a proposal concerning the visitation of authors in the elementary schools. This was a boondoggle of a program, and no Advisory committee member had asked for it. I imagine it was devised to allow unknown authors to push their books. I attended some of these programs as a school board member later on and complained about what I saw vehemently. The authors they invited in many cases were not people who should have even been around children, in my opinion much less writing books for them that KISD would buy!
15. “Bus Safety” A proposal has been made to add stop arms to all Katy ISD buses and will be included in the 1986-87 budget. What the Advisory Group was hoping for were cameras on the buses. We still don’t have those on all the buses–there are fake ones on all of them but not real ones. Having those cameras on buses should be a top priority. A bus driver cannot be a competent driver and maintain order on a school bus! Functioning cameras would protect both students and bus drivers.
16. “Use of School Facilities” The policy on use of school facilities is being revised and will be presented to the Board of Trustees. The policy got more favorable for a while, but now it has gone the other way. Like I said, the administration thinks public school buildings and property are their own personal domain and act like it. Read the rules for use of the Merrell Center if you don’t believe me.
17. “Cafeteria Concerns” The Nutrition and Food Services Department has set up student and parent groups to get feedback on their program. A needs assessment of the entire department will be conducted by outside persons. Not sure what that meant. I was invited to accompany a very nice lady who was in charge of food service, at several school cafeterias. I tried to be nice in pointing out obvious things that were wrong.
They never have fixed things in cafeterias. The only good thing I can say about them is that they make great dinner rolls!
18. “Individual School Concerns” Addressed through Area Superintendent’s office. That means they weren’t going to do anything about those.