The Good, The Better And What The Heck - Part Two

The Good: Communicating with the Board is the right of every stake holder in Lakewood. Here’s some information that may help. At every Board meeting there is a time for public communications when you step up to a microphone and address the Board publicly. Policy 0169.1 is “Public Participation at Board Meetings.” The policy starts with …”public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest…” This is a longer policy but it is extremely specific. Here are examples of do’s and don’ts. “Anyone having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Board may participate…”, “Attendees must register their intention to participate…” (Sign in as you enter.) “Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three (3) minutes duration..” and “All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer (normally the board president); no person may address or question Board members individually…” 

The frustrating part for many is it will feel like you are speaking to Mount Rushmore. You go up to the microphone and make your concerns known to the group of people sitting on the stage and not of them answers except to say, "Thank you."

Superintendent Niedzwiecki explained that since becoming superintendent it has been her practice to reply to questions and concerns brought to the podium at Board meetings herself, as Policy 1100 states: “The Superintendent shall be the chief executive officer of the District.” Further, any Board member is also available to hear concerns, but most, if not all, concerns deal with the operations of the district, which she oversees. (Remember the Board is the policy-maker not day-to-day concerns.) Therefore she calls and discusses concerns over the phone, or schedules a meeting with the individual. If she doesn’t get back to you before the next meeting you can call, email or speak at the next meeting. If that sounds scary, the email address of every Board member is on their page of the LCSD website, Board of Education tab. Some rumours are that you cannot address a Board member privately. Not true but just remember the Board members are speaking for themselves and not the Board. 

Regular Board meetings are the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. There is lots of information at Go the Board tab to access policies and member information. For livestreaming and viewing archives of past meetings and many school events head to youtube and search for “Brent Kallay.”

The Better:  Congratulations Rotary Scholarship winners: Speech 1st Elizabeth Schuldt, 2nd Sophia Lipowski, 3rd Ava Cuffari and 4th Lana Collins. Visual Arts 1st Reagan Bratko and HM Tegan Hendzel. Music 1st Jake Hirsch, 3rd Bode Smith and HM Eileen Brady. 

What the Heck: Let’s talk! Did you know that students can get high school and college credit at the same time. The program is called College Credit Plus (CCP); it is administered by the Teaching and Learning Department and is available to all LCSD grades 7th-12th grade. College credit is recognized by most universities and colleges in the state of Ohio. It all starts with a meeting at Lakewood High School “LHS Advanced Options Night.” Mr. Steven Ast, Director of Teaching and Learning has supplied us with the power point from the informational meeting well as Ohio Department of Education and Work Force CCP.

Courses are LHS are currently taught by our very own Lakewood High School teachers and they following the syllabus’ provided by the college offering the credit. Teachers who teach these classes must have a master’s degree in their specific area making them adjunct faculty of the institution. Lakewood High offers the following classes at LHS in partnership with the respected institutions: Anatomy & Physiology (LCCC) ● Intro to Psychology & Social Psychology (U of Akron) ● Spanish (LCCC) ● Chamber Ensemble (Hiram) ● Wind Ensemble (Hiram) ● Symphony/ Chamber Orchestra (Hiram) ● Survey of American Music (Hiram) ● Musicianship I (Hiram) ● College Algebra & Trigonometry (Tri-C) ● College Composition (LCCC) ● Strategies for Success (Tri-C). Also students may opt to go to one of the campuses of Cleveland State, Tri-c, Baldwin Wallace, Lorain CCC and Franklin.

Even though LHS has started offering CCP courses, they have not replaced the rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) courses that LHS also proudly offers our diverse student population. AP courses are regulated by the college board.

Both AP and CCP classes give LHS students a grade point average (GPA) boost and are paid for by our taxpayer dollars and give our students the skills they need for college and could save their family tuition money depending on the college they elect to attend. Either way, our students win because they are challenged. Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki would like to see every student at LHS take either an AP or CCP course. She understands that it may seem overwhelming, but she believes that every student is capable of reaching this high level of education.

Volume 20, Issue 9, Posted 2:53 PM, 05.08.2024