Dec 7, 2008

Meany Middle School closing: thoughts from the PTSA

As I'm sure you know the Meany Middle School program is on the block suddenly this year. This is a program that is growing in vitality and faster year to year. I hope you had a chance to attend the Jaguar Arts Festival. More and more families from the neighbourhood are banking on Meany being there for their kids for middle school as a viable option to the overcrowded Washington Middle School.

I don't know how the community feels about Meany really, I know there are some strong supporters, but if you know of people who are supporters could you PLEASE have them write all of the board members and the superintendent IMMEDIATELY. This process is moving very quickly, and if anybody out there is still unclear about how Darwinianism works, they need only to watch what is happening in child/school distribution.

Meany is a vital place for many diverse children and happens to be a safe haven for many at risk kids. We can't all save everyone all of the time, and some of us don't, but Meany has a personal eye on a lot of kids who would otherwise disappear, and probably not make it to 20. If these kids get randomly dispersed, the CD will have a lost a program that is literally saving lives at a time when an unprecedented number of youth are killing one another. It's as easy to buy a gun as it is to buy candy.

Meany has the only arts coach in the district, it has an orchestra that has grown from 13-53 in 5 years under the tutelage of Fred Strom, a full time volunteer retiree of the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. It has nurtured the growth and huge success of some low income students who would otherwise never have been introduced to music at a serious level. There is one child who is now receiving 3 hours of private lessons donated by members of a chamber group at Seattle University.

We have a student in 7th grade who was awarded one the most outstanding students awards of the year last year. She comes from a very at risk background.

Quietly, Meany is turning the lives of many at risk students around.

Our PTSA is very energetic ( I am co VP ), but we are few, and we are very tired. We could use all of the help any of the Miller Community can offer.

Time is of the essence. The board is voting in January - we were given notice the night before Thanksgiving. I just thought of you this morning as a possible ally.

Can you help, and how?

Please go to www.seattleschools.org website for school board member addresses (they actually read their emails), write to the paper, send out notices to your community and whatever else you can think of. (If you write on their behalf, send a copy to meanypta@hotmail.com . Thanks, Andrew)

We are working fast and hard to come up with viable fiscal options to fill the seats at Meany - a marriage with TT Minor, a marriage with the SBOC from Queen Anne? Summit K-12 with Meany? Any ideas? Right now the school board is suggesting simply dispersing the kids into whatever seats are available, and there actually aren't any in the CD...140 kids from the reference area, and 34 from the 98122 and 98112 zip codes alone.. you don't have to have a PhD to know the numbers don't work. Washington is full, and Madrona not considered a reference school because it's a K-8 - apart from the fact that 100 families left there last year....

Thanks,

Sandy Hirsch, MS CCC
Give Voice
206.718.4387
shirsch58@msn.com
www.givevoice.com

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am deffinately not a supporter of Meany school as it is now. A new pricipal every year or two, for the last twenty has left me very sour on the program continuing there. I've had several principals lie to me, taken up my time and then kissed me off when they got what they wanted, never mind what the community needed at the time. Same for the PTSA. If they are so community oriented why have I never seen them at any MPNA meetings? Where has thier support been when we reached out to them? How come they claim the parking lot as belonging to the school? When the communty convinced the Parks Dept. to build the lot for the teachers. Gee thanks Meany. Now they still park all over the neighborhood taking up residents parking spaces and acting all huffy when asked to leave room for others. SHUT IT DOWN NOW! I will certainly be writing to the school board. Change we can believe in. Not another single year of false promises and neglect.

Marlow Harris said...

It sounds like you've had a bad experience with them, and this might have happened with any large institution.

But it's important to look beyond that to the bigger picture. Losing a school is devastating for the community, especially a school that is working so hard to turn out decent respectable citizens. Students are dissipated, neighbors ties are cut, people lose stake in the community, impetus is lost.

Middle schools shelter and teach a very vulnerable population, and this school in particular fills that need.

tictoc said...

I am sorry Anonymous hs had such a bad experience with Meany. My child attends this school and I have been involved with the PTSA. I strongly support this school!

Speaking Loud said...

Importance of Meany School remaining open.
It was recently discovered Barack Obama as an infant lived on Capitol Hill. His mother took up an apartment on Mercer and 13th and resided for close to a year on the hill while she attended the University of Washington. Barack's mother Stanley Ann Obama returned to Hawaii after about a year to her parents as she as felt "overwhelmed" but the fact remains she chose Capitol Hill and this community as a place to start her family. It is
likely if Barack Obama had stayed he would have attended Meany. Its ironic and tragic given the upcoming administration's emphesis on education it is now slated for closure.

This finding perhaps gives some weight to recognizing the importance of schools in diverse communities with single parents and struggling families.

I believe every effort should be made to support what is in the best interest of student education and kids by and closing Meany with its specialized education programs will not do that.