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The Parent Movement Recap of March 22 Castro Valley School Board Meeting

A group of inspired parents move to apply constant respectful pressure to our school board to preserve our 25:1 class size ratio.

Inspired by the love and admiration we have for our educators at , I got together with four other parents over coffee to talk about saving our 25:1 class size ratio.

In response to the to increase K-3 class size ratio to 28:1, we formed . 

Our mission is gather information, inform ourselves, inform as many parents as we can of what we learn, and to respectfully pressure our board to keep our class size ratio at 25:1.

Our first meeting was . With a shout out and event posting on Castro Valley Patch, parents from schools all over Castro Valley showed up to and were ready to stand up.

It was exciting to see and feel the emotion and determination in that room.

We were joined by a Castro Valley Teachers Association (CVTA) union representative and the CVTA president. After listening to everyone introduce themselves and give their reasons for being there, we discussed our next steps. I was SO excited about the enthusiasm of those in attendance. I LOVE this community.

Last night was the board meeting. The budget and class size ratio were not on
the agenda so we had to reserve our comments for the Public Comments Session at the end of the Open Session or 9:30 p.m., whichever came first. 

Parents from our Movement came with their young children. We got to see the presentation and the awards gave to its . These two presentations made me love our community even more.  

With our young children, we sat respectfully through the board’s long discussion on the Municipal Advisory Council, reports from conferences, carpooling issues, books that they thought were worth reading and discussing in the future, and scheduling meetings. 

Finally after 9 p.m., after some parents had to leave because of the late hour, the Public Comments session opened. John Green, the CVTA union president spoke

His first comments urged the board to move the Public Comment Session earlier in the meeting so that parents of small children, who are a big part of whom this board serves, could be heard and go home without having to sit through so much other board business. Thank you, John.

Six parents were moved enough to speak to the board on class-size ratio. We did so with respect, eloquence, and a lot of heart. I was sitting in the front of the room so I didn’t know who remained in the room behind me at this late hour but when I turned to leave, I was encouraged to see that the room was not empty. 

The room was filled with 20 to 30 parents and teachers that stayed to the end to applaud in support of the parents who spoke. These parents and teachers stayed to the end to support The Parent Movement, to support our mission of persuading our board to keep our class size ratio at 25:1. Did I mention, I love this community?

The Parent Movement will meet again before the next board meeting.  I’ll definitely let you all know when and where it will be and what we’re going to discuss. I can’t wait to meet more of you from this wonderful community as we
fight to preserve our quality education here in Castro Valley.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kristen K. March 24, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Parents and teachers have always made a great team when it comes to education and doing what's best for children. Now it's even more true! Thank you Parent Movement!
Teresa Coleman March 24, 2012 at 04:23 PM
As a first grade teacher with 28 students I can tell you 3 more students will change the dynamics in any k-3 classroom. Class size increases mean less time the teacher will have to spend on each individual student.
Carol Ojeda Caploe March 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I agree with Teresa. I teach kindergarten and still struggle with the adjustment from 20 students to 25. My carpet has only spaces for 20, and my small group instruction is severely affected. We teachers did not receive any form of training or support for adjusting our practices to a larger ratio of students to teacher, nor were we funded to re-equip our classrooms. Our Best Practices training, which I value so much, is falling by the wayside because of the need to teach most everything whole group. I feel I am not reaching my students enough 1:1, and I don't know what to do about this. Our district has trained us so well for teaching 20:1, and I am torn, now, because without help in a classroom of more than 20 students, our celebrated systems for reaching students are not working. I often feel I am failing my students. While I am managing to scaffold most of them to reach benchmarks, I am not the same teacher, relishing my job and feeling I am doing my best every day. I feel I am scraping by, and this is not satisfying to me when it comes to working with children. I love working in this district, and I just know that in the end we will together make sure that we once again stand above the mark in providing the absolute best we can to our students from their first days in kindergarten on through to high school graduation. Let's not give up on this!!
Kristi Bascom March 27, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Dorothy - I hope you'll keep the community informed of upcoming CVUSD Board Meetings and when budget items are on the agenda to be discussed. Class size is such an important issue in my opinion, and your efforts to keep this on people's radar as budget cuts are being contemplated is critically important. Thanks!
Dorothy Theodore March 30, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Thanks for the comments Kristi. I will continue to share whatever I learn through my own research and friends in The Parent Movement as well as from teachers in our district. It's one of our missions, to be informed and inform other parents. We are definitely going to keep up the momentum and keep this on people's radar. This community is rallying around our students and teachers in a way that is truly inspiring to me.


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