Tuesday, June 21, 2011

2020 Task Force Provides Opportunity.

Over the last several months the 2020 Task Force has been meeting to discuss the future of the Danbury Public School System.

The 2020 Task Force was appointed to build a consensus between the Board of Education, the City Council, and the community regarding a long term strategic plan for Danbury's schools.

We meet every other Monday at the Beaver Brook Administration Center. The meetings are open to the public and minutes are taken.

Our focus has been on three key areas:

1. Address the potential overcrowding at our elementary schools.

2. Address the current overcrowding at our middle schools.

3. Develop a strategic plan for programming at the high school.

Chaired by Rosty Slabicky, the Task Force is composed of the Mayor, the Superintendent of Schools, Parents, a representative from NEA-Danbury, Board of Ed. members, members of the City Council, and various city and school department heads.

We are still in the early part of our planning, and discussions have just begun about different proposals and scenarios that could be used to address both the short term and the long term challenges that a growing, vibrant school district will face in the 21st century.

Last night, Dr.Pascarella, Dr. Glass, and myself hosted a meeting at Broadview Middle School to dispel many of the rumors that have been circulated by various individuals regarding the different ideas that the 2020 Task Force has discussed.

It was a lively meeting that lasted for three hours. There were more questions than there were answers. That's to be expected since we are in the early stages of planning and no decisions have been made.

Change is always difficult, and changing the perception and the direction of our school district requires having all stakeholders on board.

We are on a tight time line because we would like to have a public discussion about the plan in the fall and over the winter. If all goes well, we would like to have some of the phases completed by 2013.

Reshaping our school system is an excited and invigorating process. There is real opportunity to create the best possible school system with the best possible outcomes in the most cost efficient way.

I have asked the 2020 Task Force to put student achievement first, that should be our highest priority.

You are always welcome to attend our meetings. Monday June 27th at 6:00 PM at Beaver Brook.

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