Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Great Wentzville School District Communication Experiment

Hello all,

As you may know, election day in Wentzville is April 6th, and is right around the corner.  There are two seats up for election on the Wentzville School Board.  The incumbent school board members are Dale Schaper and Joe McDonald.

As you may also know, Dale Schaper's use of "arbitrary" policy managed to censor the parents of Timberland High School journalism students at the March 18th board meeting. 

What you may not know, though, is that ongoing attempts at communication with the district since that incident have produced nothing.  As a matter of fact, we've been effectively told that parents aren't welcome in the district if you have a problem.  If you have something to say, you only get three minutes a month... if we let you.

So, if you have been following this blog, and have any doubts about why this district needs to change, I'm proposing a little experiment... and all it will take is the time to send one email.

Step 1:  Choose. 
You can send an email to any one address, some of them, or - if you're feeling saucy - all of them! 
Board Members:
Dale Schaper,
David Ness,
Sherry Cox,
David Hurst,
Joe McDonald,
Michael Cecil,
Terry Ratcliff,

Superintendant - Dr. Terry Adams,
Assistant Superintendant - Dr. Melody Marcantonio,
District Spokesperson - Matt Deichmann,
Step 2: Ask a question.
Ask anything!  You can ask to be pointed to statistics for the district, or past performance in achieving "adequate yearly progress" (AYP).  Or for bonus points, make the question about something semi-controversial or topical.  Examples of some topics could be:
  • How is the district going to pay for full day kindergarten after two years?
  • Why are parent/teacher conferences at the high school conducted in public, in violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974?
  • Would the district be willing to consider a dress code for students?
  • Why do kids need to spend so much time "MAP test prepping"?
  • Why can't my kids sell brownies/cookies to raise money for their activity?
  • Can gays/lesbians go to prom in the district with their dates?
  • And, or course, you can ask any questions about the censorship issues I've been covering as well.
Step 3: Wait
Did you get a response?  We can wait....
What about now?  Still no.... I hope you're not holding your breath!
....On the odd chance you did get a response, was it respectful?  Or was it dismissive?  Hmmm... thought so.

Step 4:  Send me your results.
Drop your results in a comment to this blog post.  I'd love to post some of the questions and responses - if any.  (If you wish to remain anonymous, please edit all of your personal info from the comment!)

Step 5:  Vote
Okay.  You caught me!  I did say that all you had to do was send an email, but bear with me for just a couple more moments...

Now that you have witnessed the root of the issue that the parents of the Wentzville School District have been struggling against, you now have the great gift of being able to make an educated decision.  It's obvious to many of the parents that the Wentzville School District board members need to enforce a pro-parent, pro-communication policy within their ranks, and within the Wentzville School administration as well. The only way to do this is to put in place board members that support this approach... and the only way to do that is to vote!

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