It’s unlikely to surprise anyone who follows this blog or knows me well to learn that I’ve thrown my hat into the Local School Council (LSC) election ring for Disney II this year. I have no political aspirations (at the moment?), so my seemingly insatiable need to know how things really work is what fueled this decision.
This is a year of firsts for Disney II and for me. As a new school, Disney II has had an Interim Advisory Council (IAC) to serve as a steward of the school through its first four years. But on July 1, 2012, Disney II will have its first elected LSC. Also new is the fact that this is a “contested” election–meaning that there are more candidates than there are parent seats on the council.
In observing nearly four years of nominations and elections related to Disney II, I can think of only two other times where there were more people interested than there were open positions. For this year’s election on April 18, 2012, there are seven parents running for six available slots, and one community member running for one of two open slots. Like many of my peers, the LSC election cycle is completely new to me. Did you know that each parent or community voter can only vote for five total candidates?
Naturally, I really want to serve on the LSC. I would not have self-nominated if I did not believe that I have the skills–and determination–to make a meaningful contribution to the group and to the school. But we are all great candidates. Two have previous LSC experience. Two have previous IAC experience. Two are architects. Three have previous non-profit experience. Five are men. Two are women. All are parents who are passionate about our children’s school.
Yesterday, we had our LSC candidates’ forum. Like a Board of Education meeting, candidates were given a grand total of 120 seconds to address “the crowd.” In preparing for the forum, I came across some candidates’ interviews on the Northcenter Journal; I liked the interview form, so I’ve mimicked it here. After four years of heavy volunteering, I feel like my name and my face are all over the place, but if you’ve just stumbled across this blog, there’s a chance that you don’t know who I am and what I mean to do on the LSC.
I believe the single biggest issue facing Disney II is the physical space of the school. Certainly, a small budget and limited financial resources will affect the quality of education at Disney II, but to me, that’s less of an issue than where all these kids will sit once the school reaches full PK-8th capacity in just three years. How can Disney II continue to meet its educational challenges and rigors within the constraints of a small building? Meeting this challenge will be of critical importance to the first elected LSC at Disney II. However, I believe it can be addressed through:
- Thinking creatively to maximize resources
- Mapping out another five to ten-year plan to identify needs and resources to address those needs
- Building and leveraging relationships with CPS, state and local lawmakers, and community stakeholders