A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking to the attendees of the Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting. The gathering was held at the Gakona Lodge with a delicious meal hosted by the new owners Cliff Potter and family.
After my presentation, we had a lengthy time for questions and discussion. I greatly appreciated the encouragement offered by members of the Chamber as they asked their questions and shared their own views regarding education and the changing context of our community. It was a refreshing reminder that our community sticks together in tough times and is quick to use the lessons learned from difficult times experienced many years ago.
The discussion covered a variety of topics. We discussed the Common Core, budget, enrollment, technology, future opportunities and the district’s efforts to address current and future challenges. The questions were insightful, specific, and supportive. It was the kind of opportunity to interact with the community that ultimately benefits our students.
Here are some of the questions summarized and paraphrased:
1) Does the Common Core curriculum in the Copper River School District include some of the disturbing content that has been reported in the national press?
2) What is the district doing to attract skilled teachers?
3) Does the district have any plans to mitigate the budget challenges coming due to low enrollment? What cuts are expected in the future?
4) Are the standards lower than what was expected of students in the past – 75 years ago?
5) Are we getting the support we need from our elected state representatives?
6) What is the timeline for the potential residential program and academy? How will the planning grant for the residential program be used?
7) What is the district doing to reduce energy costs?
As you can see, it was a robust discussion based on great questions. In the coming weeks and months, I’ll try to address all of these questions in the Snippets. You can ask more questions by using the comments section at the bottom of this post.
Special thanks to Jeremy Weld and the Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to speak and facilitating connections between the CRSD and community. Thanks also to Matt and Judith Lorenz for this space to communicate with you each week in the Copper River Record.