Finally realizing that they may be having a communication problem, the MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee put out the following on February 26…
The MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee is pleased to announce that we have added a meeting to our schedule. It is a forum regarding the global screening process involving students in second grade, and the pilot programs being conducted at two elementary schools to provide services to students without labeling them as gifted. Participants will include the principals and other stakeholders from Burning Tree and Georgian Forest Elementary Schools and representatives of the MCPS Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction.The meeting will be on Monday, March 16, 2009, at 7:30 pm in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center (CESC), 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850. The meeting will be open to the public and ample parking is available.
“Publicity” for this has all-of-a-sudden meeting has been poor to non-existant. But that seems to be rule with things PTA policy-related. Although MCCPTA is trying to sell itself as “not your mother’s PTA,” the sad reality is that at the school level, parents are consumed with raising funds and getting someone to volunteer to be room parent so that the kids can have a Valentine’s Day party.
Discussion of cluster or countywide policy? Sure. <snort> Half the time the GT Liaison, Cluster Representative and other policy slots go unfilled. Turnout at PTA meetings is meager–we’re talking maybe a dozen to two dozen people on average. Mention of a policy issue might get squeezed in between discussion of the latest fundraiser and parking lot drop-off procedures. No one is familiar with the issues.
As for communicating these issues via listserv? Again, silence. I’m on a lot of school listservs, simply because between them my kids have attended 5 elementary and middle schools. This global screening meeting, for example, has not been posted anywhere on my radar screen–including the committee chair’s school. It’s come to the point where *I* am posting meeting announcements to my neighborhood elementary school listserv and I don’t even have kids there anymore. (I’ve even emailed the PTA president to ask if anyone was handling GT issues. No reply.) This strikes me as weird and stalker-ish–I feel like I really shouldn’t because I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. So I wait. And no one posts. And then I think of all these important decisions being made, and these parents who have no clue that this stuff is going to be impacting their kids’ entire school careers, and I feel compelled to pass on the meeting announcements. This is the “representation,” the advocacy, that the MCCPTA touts.