Sunday, February 28, 2010

Huntley's Special Ed PAC

The Huntley School Distrcit 158 has a Special Education Parent Advisory Committee that meets monthly. Generally speaking, the group meets on the second Thursday at 6:00PM. Parents have been extremely vocal in their demands for services for their children and for proper allocation of stimulus funds anticipated by the District.

The PAC has a presence on the School District's website. You can view it at

The group meets from 6:00-7:30PM, which is probably pretty hard on parents with little ones at home who expect a meal about that time but, for whatever reason, that's the time the group meets.

When viewing the webpage recently, this particular sentence (the original is in Red) caught my eye:

(*Note- Our meetings will begin and end promptly as scheduled, allowing staff and community to respect professional and personal commitments. "Please drive safely, everyone.")

When I read that the first time, I felt my stomach muscles tighten. My first reaction was, "What do they (the school staff, who wrote it) really mean? Do they mean, 'Look, you all. We have worked hard all day and we're not going to spend the entire night here."'

Then I thought, "Oh, maybe I'm just being too sensitive (or too critical)", so I did a little checking. The first call I may confirmed my suspicion. That's exactly what is meant. When 7:30PM comes, they are out the door.

I'm all for meetings that start on time and end on time. But this in-your-face announcement came across immediately as disrespectful and impolite.

The same objective (to end a meeting on time) could be accomplished by good time management during the meeting and an agenda that is not too full and which allows adequate time to address the concerns of the parents and the staff. As the meeting approaches the scheduled End time, the evening's moderator could arrange for unfinished business (and there is probably a lot of that) to addressed between meetings or at the next meeting.

Considering the Special Education turnover in D-158, parents probably have many, many questions.

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