Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Creative ideas for Mesa Public Schools

In light of the potential shifts in enrollment and moving grades around, Mesa Public Schools is looking into creative ways to use their existing facilities. From traditional schools to more specialized campuses, MPS appears to be taking the model of the past and changing it to specialize more for the differing needs of the students and desires of the community.

Their desire to "not lock the district into one educational model" is going to be a key for their long-term success. It is going to take some time to finalize the details, but the result has the potential of creating a robust district filled with a diverse number of educational options offering vocational, traditional, and advanced education.

The challenge to some neighborhoods will be that the local elementary school or junior high may change its purpose or focus. Some parents will no longer just assume a natural progression from the neighborhood elementary to the closest junior high and then on to the local high school. Instead, the closest school may not be the best to fit the needs of your child, and you're going to have to look around for the campus and the school that meets your student's needs.

This will be a challenge, but in the longrun, it has the potential of producing a wider range of better equipped and educated students ready for college and the workforce.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

I really like the idea and am excited that MPS is being innovative, creating a more robust educational experience. If this is successful, it has the potential to really change the community. People move to take their kids to great school districts.

The thing I have issue with is what you kind of brought up that the neighborhood school might not necessarily deliver what your kids need or interests. Now I think Elementary might be too early and might need to be more of a traditional education so they at least get that at some point of their early education. The other thing that I take issue is that people will have to move or drive their kids to school even more. That means you have a larger transient population that is always on the move and does not connect to their community and neighborhood due to this movement. I personally think we need to have safe routs for kids to walk to school again. You know, help reduce childhood obesity, congestion and laziness.

So to reduce this, the district has to have some type of organization to have certain schools located in clusters so parents do not have to move or travel further from elementary, middle school and high school. I hope they can get this done.