As we begin to look at the future of education, the fiscal woes that we find ourselves in at this time, the state wide school district consolidation, it seems like we here in Appleton need to pause and have a conversation about the future possibilities for educating our students. We have been saddled with a budget that is going to ask for difficult decisions to be made around our school and the education of our children. 

What are the priorities that we have for our school, the student's education and our local community? Can we afford this school? Do we want to continue to have a school here in Appleton? Knowing that we have to educate our children, what options do we see that we may have and what are the financial out looks for those options?

Do we fund the school at a level that will hopefully allow it remain here in town? Do we make cuts within the present structure and hope for the best? Do we close the school and have our children educated at other facilities? 

Facing the state budget cuts and the state consolidation mandate Appleton seems to be in a very difficult spot. Will consolidation within an RSU make Appleton Village School more vulnerable to closing as it may be the smallest school in the district? By loosing state funding will our town budget not be able to support a school that is successful and therefor vulnerable to closing? 

Clearly I have many more questions than answers but as I look at this situation from my position as parent, teacher and community member I feel that this school needs to remain a successful, vibrant learning center and hub for our small community. With that in mind I propose that we work to make this a great school, a model school and a school that through these tough times will remain; will be supported by the community and teachers and will not be a consideration for elimination when we join a larger district and face future fiscal challenges. I feel that this school should not only be a great school but also continue to provide that hub, that meeting place for the Appleton community. It is part of the glue that binds, as our children bring us together as a community this facility gives us a physical place for us to "Be Appleton".

"We can’t create a thriving, innovative, creative, vibrant learning environment and pair it with common standards supported by textbooks and assessed by standardized tests. The two ideas are diametrically opposed. To waste time and money attempting to force these two into a relationship would be as futile as Romeo and Juliet’s parents trying to keep them apart."

Greg Thompson gives a quick comment on this issue at his post below. Something worth considering as we look at less money in the budgets and the perceived need to "paint our school with data" to see how we are doing. Stop the insanity!


Photo: .ygoy's Photostream

An interesting video presentation by Alan November about learning, teaching, and how have things changed in education and society in the last hundred years. He looks at how technology can impact learning and points out some common myths about technologies dreams in learning.

After watching what does Alan's presentation say to you? Click on the comment  count above right to leave a comment to contribute to the conversation.
Enjoy yourself.    Look for the fun things in life!

Fun can be more than a theory it can be a state of being.

How else could you get them off the escalators?

And what a wild time it was!
  The week began with the middle school students working to prepare for our Veterans Panel. This years panel was a very well attended event and both veterans and students alike seemed to enjoy the opportunity to share and hear stories. Link to Village Soup coverage of the event.

Tuesday was a "normal day" with some outstanding basketball games after school with Lincolnville. Well done teams!

Thursday, we came back from Veteran Day with a H1N1 clinic at Lincolnville. Those of us who stayed at AVS put together two composting containers for winter compost and the 7th grade students prepared a bed and planted the garlic for next year's crop. It was a great time out there digging, planting and cleaning up. We then had lunch, then home for the students as we had a full slate of parent conferences for the afternoon and evening. Thanks to all those parents who were able to make it in for a meeting. It is always great to share and hear about the students.

Friday brings a busy day as 8th grade discussed fund raising and started talking about where we might be heading on our class trip in the spring. Plenty of ideas.
I then got news that our Appleton Roots Garden is now listed with the Maine School Garden Network. Very good news. Check it out here.

Basketball games tonight I could not stay for the conclusions but wish teams all the best. Things were looking positive when I had to leave.

Bottle drive on Saturday so have your bottles ready.

Monday will be here soon enough!

Wow! One of those days.  This next stretch could be a wild time.

Morning meeting to get Veterans Day panel loose ends tied up. Things are looking good for that and it is looking like great participation for out Vets. Looking forward to it.

8th graders took the math competency test this morning so our schedule was flipped on it's head. Thanks to all for their flexibility with this.

7th grade: got a few students started with their blog spaces and then a 80% successful intro to ALEKS the online math program. A few students run into a road block that we are working to fix this evening. Thanks for your patience gang.

Veterans day panel is Monday, Nov. 9th 10:30-12:20 with lunch to follow.

H1N1 clinic coming up next week, Nov 12th in the morning. Make sure to get your paperwork in this week so the order is complete. There will be no extras!

Also parent conferences on that day and it is a 1/2 day. Wow.

Student leaders met at lunch and are getting things organized for a Thanksgiving food drive. Lots of logistics to get ironed out. Very excited group. Look for what you can do to help out in the form of food contributions in next weeks NotesHome.

Today ended with a tremendous team effort from the boys basketball team. I had to leave a halftime but we looked to be in control. Very exciting and entertaining. Well done gentlemen!

Photo: Veterans Day  -  eqqman

So we have all made it through the sugarfest and are now into basketball season and the time shift.

The basketball teams got started last night with games against Hope. It was great to see our teams out there working as a team and having a good time.

We have been working on getting ready for the math comp test which is tomorrow morning. Good luck to all. I know that you are all looking forward to another test.

7th grade had a great learning experience in science as they presented information to students at Hermon Middle School last week using Skype. It was a great experience for both groups and we are looking to share our learning with Hermon again at some point.

Veteran's Day panel discussion will be on Monday Nov. 9th. We are planning and looking forward to this annual Appleton gathering.