Association News

From Vision to Reality

Feb 19, 2016
Have you had a chance to read the “Shared Vision for the Schools Our Students Deserve”? If you haven’t, ask your AR for a copy. We’ve spent a good bit of time on what we didn’t want for Jeffco, but it’s time to focus on what we do want and what we are willing to do to get there.

This is what I’ve heard from folks I’ve talked to about it: “Great document, but what does it mean? How will we get there?” As with the battle to seat a pro-public schools school board, the how is up to us.  

One of the concepts in “Schools Our Students Deserve” is strong public schools, strong communities. It goes on to state that “Students are better able to achieve when they and their families can access basic health/dental care, mentoring, English language classes and more at school.”  That’s an awesome idea, but obviously, it’s a vision, not a thing we have fully realized.  

As a step in that direction, I emailed the district office of student engagement last week to find out more about what kinds of community resources are available for my at-risk students. One of the specialists there came out to Columbine to see me, armed with a stack of pamphlets and a ton of information, accompanied by the principal of Jeffco Virtual Academy. We had a great conversation, and I have resources for my students that I previously knew nothing about.

I am not one to wait around for someone to make my dearest visions a reality. If I really want something, I go get it. If I want my kiddos to be healthy and have access to mentors, I can work with the district to make that happen for them.

What do you want? Do you want a contract that attracts and retains quality teachers? Write the school board and tell them what that vision looks like to you in negotiations. Support your negotiations team by attending a session or two. Do you want adequate funding for our schools? Write your legislators and tell them a) you’ve had enough of the negative factor, and b) they need to get rid of TABOR. Do you want community alliances that will join our fight for schools our students deserve? Attend an Industrial Areas Foundation or Service Employees International Union event.  Don’t know what or where those are? Call JCEA. Someone there will be happy to fill you in. How will that help? It is through organizations like these that all members of a community come together to improve conditions for each other. This is how we get all those voices that matter into the discussion.

Our “Vision for the Schools Our Students Deserve” is lofty. So was the idea of recalling three hostile school board members, replacing them, and bringing on two more pro-public schools board members, but we did it. When we speak though our voices may shake, act even when we are tired, devote time when time is such a precious commodity, when we commit to our kids and our community, we can do anything.