Over the past two SRC meetings I have verbally expressed and put into writing to all of you the districts role in the present state of Strawberry Mansion High School. A state that was created for us to be here today. A state that could have been avoided with skilled leadership on every level.
Millions of capital improvement dollars that you signed off on at the last SRC meeting will go into a building where you are being asked to either close, phase out, repurpose or now transform. So many descriptions for a proposed plan in just a two-month period.
SRC members, there is NO plan for the students at Strawberry Mansion High School. How do I know? Because the district has failed to assemble a team of experts to create one. When you devise a plan for the creation of a new focus for a high school the CAO, an Assistant superintendent with turnaround high school experience, coaches, the business sector, educators, community members and the alumni assemble over time to create a plan of action. It cannot be done in a hurry. The tearing apart and the building up of Strawberry Mansion High School should have been synonymous to assure no break in the educational programming for the students at Strawberry Mansion.
The plan of action should have been articulated and disseminated to all stakeholders for transparency. There is no plan. If there is one, please ask the Superintendent to show it to you and have them share it so that we can stop this further traumatizing of the students.
SRC members please do not let one of your final acts be to attach your name, something you have worked long and hard to earn, to a plan that does not exist and a plan that you will not be around to see come into fruition.
Let your final act be on the side of the children. Direct the district leadership to form a team of experts (even if they have to pay for them) so that the children of Strawberry Mansion can be educated properly and cared for. Dispersing the already frightened rising 9thgraders all across the city to a school they did not select is inhumane. Sending the majority to Roxborough would be abusive to both communities.
Please vote “no” to any change in structure.