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Wake up Clarksville


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#1 Avid Reader

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 06:01 PM

So many posts about politics, yet there are so few posts about education. The future of our communities rests with our young people, but so few residents of Clarksville seem to care where their property taxes are going in regard to the schools. Are you aware that the Renaissance Academy has less than 95 students with 7 full time teachers and a principal? Are you aware that Clarksville High School lost three teaching positions from the previous year, yet has 360 students and must offer a math class after school because there enough teachers have not been provided? Last week the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast was held at IUS and the only high school students in attendance were those from the Academy and the middle school. The CHS students were not invited by the CCSC administration. This week, the Academy students were taken to the state house on a field trip in a chartered bus free of charge to all students. Blatant favoritism with your tax dollars. When is it going to stop? 

 

Ask about last year's test scores from both high schools. If you knew the truth you would be demanding your tax dollars back.

 

It's time to step up as a community and demand some accountability, or you might not have a school corporation much longer. The Academy is bleeding the community dry with little or no data to back up its preferential treatment. 


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#2 GrumpyGranny

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 06:45 PM

I have to admit that even though I have granddaughters in both the middle and high schools, I haven't paid much attention to the Clarksville school system. 

 

I think it is terrible that the officials would grant preferential treatment to the students of the Renaissance Academy. IMO, the academy was a dumb idea, and a waste of school system resources, from the beginning. Why should my tax money go to send academy students on free field trips, but not my grandkids? My two girls are good students and deserve the same treatment as the academy students.

 

What is the class size at the middle and high schools? I imagine 30+ students per class if they are short teachers. So four academy teachers should be transferred to the high school, right? Since the academy does not have traditional classrooms and traditional teaching styles, why should their teacher/student ratio be so much lower than the high school or middle school? Give them a 30+ students to 1 teacher ratio also.


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#3 Tina

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Posted 26 January 2016 - 10:47 PM

Too much money being siphoned away from the community schools to "redevelop" Clarksville.

 

They used that redevelopment money to build a new school to keep the system happy.


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#4 Holy Cow

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:24 AM

I think a little context may be in order. The "field trip" as has been described was not that at all. I did some checking with people in Indianapolis and found out that the Clarksville Community School Corporation was actually invited by the organizers of the School Choice/Education Reform Day at the Indianapolis Statehouse. Included in this day was Dr. Knott's participation on a school choice panel along with IPS superintendent, Dr. Lewis Farabee and Beech Grove superintendent, Dr. Paul Kizer. These three public school superintendents discussed how their school corporations have pursued innovative measures to embrace the school choice climate that is so prevalent in Indiana. Renaissance Academy was one of those statewide examples and as a result they were invited.

I am not debating the issue of Renaissance Academy, but I do think it is noteworthy that of the 292 Indiana superintendents running school corporations today, Dr. Knott was one of three asked to talk about how her corporation has tried to transform itself to make sure it is competitive in the school choice environment in Indiana. Furthermore, I think it is noteworthy that the rally had any Indiana superintendents talking positively about school school choice, as most, including many in this area of the state (GCS and NAFCS as evidenced by their aggressive opposition to charters) are so vehemently against it.

Maybe the real issue is that Clarksville as a landlocked and declining enrollment school corporation that has no real ability to grow in enrollment as a result of new housing is trying to be competitive by trying new things to meet students' needs and attract students. From the perspective of the organizers of the event Monday, there is the belief that Clarksville Community Schools is one of few public school corporations in Indiana that understands that school choice is here to stay and that public schools must change to compete for students.

Avid Reader, I am checking to see if the bus was paid by the philanthropic organization that sponsored the event (as opposed to taxpayers as you suggest). I will report back if or when I find that out.

Edited by Holy Cow, 27 January 2016 - 06:29 AM.


#5 GrumpyGranny

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:33 AM

So, Holy Cow, if this was not a "field trip", the academy students did not go to the state house, on a chartered bus, free of charge? Just Dr Knott went to participate on this school choice panel? 



#6 Holy Cow

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 07:03 AM

No, that is not what I said. I did say at the end of the post that the bus to transport the students may have been paid for by the sponsors of the event as opposed to using local tax dollars. My understanding that the sponsors invited students from the selected schools, and those students were there as part of the "My Schools; My Choice" theme.

The point is that the Renaissance Academy students were invited because they have chosen a school different than the traditional public school setting to meet their needs.

Edited by Holy Cow, 27 January 2016 - 07:34 AM.


#7 GrumpyGranny

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 07:34 AM

You apparently were editing your post about the same time I was typing my response. When I originally read it, you had not posted the last bit about the bus "may" have been paid by sponsors. You also clearly said the "field trip" was not a "field trip" at all and that CCSC was actually invited, not that academy students were invited...



#8 Holy Cow

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 07:55 AM

Yeah, I am a very poor typist, and my brain works faster than my fingers so you will find that I have to edit many things because I either misspell or make other errors. Sorry!

Edited by Holy Cow, 27 January 2016 - 07:56 AM.

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#9 Riverfool

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:12 AM

So many posts about politics, yet there are so few posts about education. The future of our communities rests with our young people, but so few residents of Clarksville seem to care where their property taxes are going in regard to the schools. Are you aware that the Renaissance Academy has less than 95 students with 7 full time teachers and a principal? Are you aware that Clarksville High School lost three teaching positions from the previous year, yet has 360 students and must offer a math class after school because there enough teachers have not been provided? Last week the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast was held at IUS and the only high school students in attendance were those from the Academy and the middle school. The CHS students were not invited by the CCSC administration. This week, the Academy students were taken to the state house on a field trip in a chartered bus free of charge to all students. Blatant favoritism with your tax dollars. When is it going to stop? 

 

Ask about last year's test scores from both high schools. If you knew the truth you would be demanding your tax dollars back.

 

It's time to step up as a community and demand some accountability, or you might not have a school corporation much longer. The Academy is bleeding the community dry with little or no data to back up its preferential treatment. 

 

 

Ok this post is wrong and misleading on so many levels.

 

First the field trip to Indianapolis was not chartered it was on a Clarksville School bus, my son went so I would know. It was your standard spend the day at the capital and learn about the process, that High School kids take learning about goverment... Once again it was on Bus # 1000 a Clarksville School bus.

 

The reason the have so few students at this time, is due to the fact that they only have 9th and 10th grade going this year. They are adding a grade every year so in 2 years they will have a full school.

 

The academy is a great school that offers a different kinda of teaching methods and is open to any student in Clark County that wants to attend.  I call it Nerd School as the focus is strictly academia based, no sports......

 

Now as far as the Math class I will check on that but it is my understanding that their is no Math class after school, there is a after school Math lab for those wanting extra help. But I will be checking up on that to be sure.

 

Now as far as staff positions go I have no idea on the High School, but I know the Middle School has issues with filling spots as teachers would leave to take higher paying spots.

 

To say that the Academy is getting special treatment sounds like sour grapes, if someone feels they are not getting the extra attention contact the administration or even send your child or children to the academy. 


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#10 Riverfool

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:21 AM

Too much money being siphoned away from the community schools to "redevelop" Clarksville.

 

They used that redevelopment money to build a new school to keep the system happy.

 

Tina so you also think that Prosser Vocational School in New Albany should be shut down. Not being a smart butt just asking, as they both are the same type of school.


Edited by Riverfool, 27 January 2016 - 09:22 AM.


#11 GrumpyGranny

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:28 AM

I asked my granddaughter, a senior, about the after school math class and she said yes, there is a calculus class after school. She said that is the reason she did not take the class.

 

Riverfool, was the trip just for academy students or did the high school students have the opportunity to also go?



#12 GrumpyGranny

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:34 AM

IMO, the academy and Prosser are no way near the same kind of school. The academy doesn't even pretend to be anything other than an alternative high school. Prosser teaches vocational classes that teach the kids a trade they are interested in learning and can help with their future, either through employment or the decision to seek further education in their chosen field.


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#13 Riverfool

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:51 AM

IMO, the academy and Prosser are no way near the same kind of school. The academy doesn't even pretend to be anything other than an alternative high school. Prosser teaches vocational classes that teach the kids a trade they are interested in learning and can help with their future, either through employment or the decision to seek further education in their chosen field.

 

I would disagree and say that the Academy is not like Prosser except instead of focusing on Auto Repair it focuses on Academia, Now my son is special needs and this school has allowed him to grow as a student.

 

It was offered to the Academy High School Students, Now I don't know if it was offered to Clarksville High Students as they are a different High School. Remember any child from Clark County can go to the school, you just have to declare a home school.  There are kids from Silver Creek, Charlestown as well and before anyway says that is unfair to Clarksville kids that want to go, Clarksville gets first choice and they took every child that applied.


Edited by Riverfool, 27 January 2016 - 09:51 AM.


#14 Holy Cow

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:52 AM

I wanted to provide some additional information about Renaissance Academy. It is what is referred to as a "New Tech" school. New Tech is is out of California and is an instructional model that focuses on project-based instruction and the heavy use of technology. This is a program hailed as providing students vital 21st century workforce and academic skills. There are a number of New Tech schools in Indiana. Bartholomew Consolidated Schools has one in Columbus. It is one of the national models in terms of facilities and programming. Clarksville, if scaled up through all four high school grades could rival the Columbus school. The model was also heavily complimented by Governor Daniels, and many believe his Polytechnic High Schools that he proposing out of Purdue have many of the same features. Interestingly, Indiana was the fastest growing New Tech and Project Lead the Way (a rigorous STEM program)in the US.
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#15 Tina

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:43 PM

Tina so you also think that Prosser Vocational School in New Albany should be shut down. Not being a smart butt just asking, as they both are the same type of school.


You must mistakenly believe I am anti-choice or anti-charter.


My point was simply that because of TIF in Clarksville, their schools are not being fully funded. In order to keep the school boards happy and to keep them from asking too many questions or from being anti-TIF they do things like spend money on the New Tech school.

They scratch their back....yadda yadda.

#16 Sleepy

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:37 PM

The reason the numbers are low is because very few students have transferred from other systems.

People talked and talked about the fact that other systems will not buy in when Clarksville and Renissance

have very few gifted/AP classes.  Smoke and mirrors in my opinion.

 

But your child can play on their phone all day, this is creative.  HS and MS no to the phones.

 

If Renaissance does not meet standards or doesn't  make it, guess who takes over the building?



#17 Riverfool

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:42 PM

The reason the numbers are low is because very few students have transferred from other systems.

People talked and talked about the fact that other systems will not buy in when Clarksville and Renissance

have very few gifted/AP classes.  Smoke and mirrors in my opinion.

 

But your child can play on their phone all day, this is creative.  HS and MS no to the phones.

 

If Renaissance does not meet standards or doesn't  make it, guess who takes over the building?

 

That is my biggest complaint as I also have a daughter that goes to the Middle School. The teachers use the kids phones as pacifiers, I can not stand that, also they allow them to use a calculator in all their math classes since 4th grade... Don't even get me started on schools that have stopped teaching cursive..


Edited by Riverfool, 27 January 2016 - 02:43 PM.

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#18 Sleepy

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 02:50 PM

Amen,  Phones are used to play games at Renissance all day.

I agree with you.


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#19 Avid Reader

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 07:30 PM

Ok this post is wrong and misleading on so many levels.

 

First the field trip to Indianapolis was not chartered it was on a Clarksville School bus, my son went so I would know. It was your standard spend the day at the capital and learn about the process, that High School kids take learning about goverment... Once again it was on Bus # 1000 a Clarksville School bus.

 

The reason the have so few students at this time, is due to the fact that they only have 9th and 10th grade going this year. They are adding a grade every year so in 2 years they will have a full school.

 

The academy is a great school that offers a different kinda of teaching methods and is open to any student in Clark County that wants to attend.  I call it Nerd School as the focus is strictly academia based, no sports......

 

Now as far as the Math class I will check on that but it is my understanding that their is no Math class after school, there is a after school Math lab for those wanting extra help. But I will be checking up on that to be sure.

 

Now as far as staff positions go I have no idea on the High School, but I know the Middle School has issues with filling spots as teachers would leave to take higher paying spots.

 

To say that the Academy is getting special treatment sounds like sour grapes, if someone feels they are not getting the extra attention contact the administration or even send your child or children to the academy. 

 

For someone whose son goes to the school, you seem to have some incorrect information, as well. If I misspoke, I will be the first to apologize. Sour grapes? I have no school aged children, they are college graduates. 

 

There is an after school math class, I double checked with a retired teacher friends from CCSC. The math class offered after school is dual credit calculus. The class is small because there are students who cannot stay after school due to sports, family commitments, or jobs. I believe this to be a harmful practice which is hurting students and costing the school corporation extra money because they must pay the teacher to teach after school at her hourly rate.  Had any of the teaching positions been replaced, this situation could have been alleviated. 

 

There are sports available to the students at the Academy. The participate as CHS athletes. I have it on good authority that if Academy students were not allowed to participate in CHS sports or electives such as choir, band, and theater, it would lose the majority of those 95 students. Apparently, students don't want an experience totally devoid of traditional activities. 

 

The reason they have few students is not because the school consists of only two grades. When the school was created, the initial plan was to have 100 students per grade. Please search newspaper articles from that time period and you will see that is correct. At this point in the Academy's history, the enrollment was projected to be 200. It is 95. 

 

My wife is a retired secondary and collegiate educator. We have many friends who still teach or are retired, as well. Our church also has many educators with whom we socialize on a regular basis. I do not post rumor or innuendo. What I post has been told to us by either students at the Academy or local Clark County teachers and administrators. Call it sour grapes if you like, but I suggest you or any other reader have tax dollars supporting public education keep informed. I voted no on the Greater Clark referendum because I did my research and due diligence. I ask others to do the same.


Edited by Avid Reader, 27 January 2016 - 07:34 PM.

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#20 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 08:16 AM

I believe in school choice.  Period.   I believe that parents and students should have the right to attend whatever school they wish -- whether it be a public school, a charter school, a parochial school, a virtual school, a private school or home school.    Parents who care ( and most do) want to do what is best for their child.  That is why I also support vouchers -- because parents who otherwise could not afford to send their child to a parochial or private school can have that opportunity through vouchers.  Traditional public schools want a monopoly on education --- that, in my opinion, is unfortunate.   But then it really isn't "all about the kids" as the traditional school districts say --- it is "all about the money".  And, the traditional school districts tend to waste a whole lot of it!

 

Unfortunately, the traditional public schools believe that they can accommodate the needs of ALL children --- but, in my opinion, they can't and it would be best if they would just admit that and work with the other schools instead of against them.   The Renaissance Academy is like a charter school only it is part of the traditional public school district.  It gives parents a choice and yet keeps the tax dollars inside the CCSC district.   Any student can attend the Renaissance Academy if a parent/student feels it fits their needs better than the traditional high school.   I do believe that far too much money was spent on building the academy but, as Tina said, that was redevelopment trying to appease the school district.

 

Whether or not kids from RA went on a field trip makes no difference to me.  I am sure there are other things that kids at the traditional high school do that RA kids do not.   Everything is not equal (in life or in school) --- they are different schools, with different methods, with different opportunities.  Parents CHOOSE which one they want for their child.   While GCCS, NA/FC etc. fight against charter schools, it is interesting that they did NOT fight against Renaissance Academy -- even though it accepts students from other districts and pulls dollars away from them.   

 

A good solution might be for the Clarksville district to turn the RA over to a charter school organization and it no longer be part of their district.   But then, you would have GCCS and others up in arms because they don't want a "charter" school.  News flash -- they already do!  Clarksville wouldn't do that though because they would lose the tax dollars.  As I said, it really isn't "all about the kids" and what is best for them.  It is "all about the money".  Sad.  






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