Speak Out: Join our Middle School Makeover design team

"Extreme Home Makeover" by flickr user Patrishe.

Each week, ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” selects a deserving family that has been going through a recent rough patch. Ty Pennington’s design team spends time with the family at the beginning of each episode. The team listens to find out what isn’t working with the family’s old house and plans design changes accordingly. Over the course of seven days, the old house is demolished and rebuilt. The new home is dramatically presented to the family at the end of the episode. Because the design team took the time to listen, the new home meets the family’s needs.

CEA can think of no family in Columbus City Schools more in need of an extreme home makeover than the district’s middle schools. Recently, the administration announced changes at the middle school level. We would like to think the administration followed the lead of Ty Pennington’s design team and listened to our middle school teachers, but we have our doubts.

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Speak Out: Early Dismissal Inequities

Bad weather is causing all sorts of distress in our school district. The reason is that when the weather is bad, schools are often dismissed early. CEA believes canceling school altogether on those days would be better.

The reason is that elementary schools have a different schedule than middle and high schools. When early dismissal is called, the older students end up being bused home first. By the time some buses return to retrieve the younger students, it is normal dismissal time.

The result? Elementary teachers, who comprise the majority of our work force, don’t get out early. They have no chance to beat the bad weather by getting on the roads earlier. It would be simpler—and fairer—to cancel school when the weather is bad.

CEA is not in charge of calamity-day decisions, and we know that the administration does not want students to miss school. But we also see how inefficient and inequitable this system is. You can assist CEA in resolving this issue with the administration by responding to the following question:

What do you think the administration should do in order to fairly address the early dismissal inequities?

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