Recently I met with district officials as a resident and PUSD parent on the issuea of the school year. My interest is in seeing deep and meaningful outreach and transparency on this and other PUSD issues in my community.
Last spring when the current school year was being finalized, I had many parents express concern about having a voice. As an active member of the community I serve on various commissions and committees, and have been frequently was asked by parents and community members who to contact to discuss the issue. I always refered folks to UTP and the District; according to folks who called or wrote, the District response was, inevitibly, to the effect that their "hands were tied" as essentially the school year was subject to UTP approval, and uniformaly UTP simply did not respond to messages left.
I have an opinion about the school year, but I will keep that to myself for now. This is, however, a great opportunity for the teacher's union to demonstrate that it cares about the community by spearheading an open outreach process -- the kind we Pasadena residents expect of our institutions.
The district, under the new Chief of Human Resources, has expressed a willingness to engage in the broadest of community listening in order to inform its thoughts on the next round of school year planning. I am jopeful that the teacher's union will, likewise, be leading the effort to reach a community consensus on the calendar.
As a strong believer in the Pasadena Way -- consensus seeking through extensive community dialogue -- nothing would please me more. As a PUSD teacher, in addition to a parent and resident, I would be thrilled to see my associaiton engaged in this process.