Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Visiting with the Marvista PTSA

Marvista was welcoming for its first PSTA meeting of the year
Last night, I had the pleasure of joining the Marvista PTSA at their first general membership meeting of the new school year. Marvista's PTSA is well known for their support of the school and I was not surprised to see a large turnout.

It's great to visit night events at schools. Here, I met Theresa Coluccio, the PTSA president, and I also got to meet a responsible young lady who was running the child care when I dropped off my 8 year old son. Lori Bento and Ginnie Brossard were there to put the "T" in PTSA. And the meeting opened with a 6th grade string quartet performing "Ode to Joy."

With Principal Mike Fosberg and PTSA Pres. Theresa Coluccio
Princpial Mike Fosberg delivered a thoughtful report on Marvista's test scores, celebrating good news and not hiding areas where the school has room to improve. While achievement at Marvista is high, Mr. Fosberg spoke about how teachers are digging into the data to figure out how to improve literacy instruction and close achievement gaps. Parents asked good questions, too, such as what the school was doing to address any dips in scores and how confident Mr. Fosberg is about scores in the future. Principal Fosberg is confident that developments in curriculum, such as math and literacy frameworks introduced last year, are working.

I really appreciate PTAs and what they do for students. As a district, we have had to cut $18 million dollars from our budget over the past three years. Although PTAs can't make up that difference, they do fill gaps and provide opportunities for students, such as field trips and arts experieinces, that we are not funded to provide. They also provide much more in their presence and personal support. The kids know when there are adults who care about them.

I think most of us know that it's harder to get a PTA going than ever these days. There seem to be so many competing priorities and our lives are busier than ever. So my hat's off to the many moms, some dads, and dedicated teachers who donate their time and energy to enrich the lives of our students.

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