Hale Cook Open House-January 30, 2011

I attended the Hale Cook open house yesterday.  Even though my two girls are beyond this school, I’m still interested in the quest to re-open a ‘neighborhood’ school for Brookside/Waldo families.  About fifty people attended. 

Derek Richey of the KCMO School Board opened the remarks in the auditorium.  The school needs 300-350 applicants by March 31 to open in the fall–currently there are 20-25 applications submitted. 

Two local Brookside moms gave comments about having children who went through the KCMO schools and graduated from Lincoln Prep Academy.  Patty Mansur and Melissa Ashcraft remarked ‘any school situation has challenges’  and ‘the key is to be involved’.  There are ‘a lot of community messages that tell you it’s risky and not a good decision’ to have your child in the KCMO public schools.  They are both happy with the education their kids had as part of a minority  in the schools–they welcomed the diversity. 

Dr Covington, KCMO School Superintendent, answered one question from the audience (there were only two questions), talking about the pay grade of teachers.  He would like to see a significant jump in pay after 5 years of teaching, instead of the pay jump at 15-20 years, so that the good, eager, younger teachers are rewarded faster for their efforts.  Sounds good–how will he make that happen?  Where will he find the money?

Clearly there is a lot of interest in re-opening this school and I hope there are enough applicants for Fall 2011 classes.  As stated in the program handout, the ‘success and sustainability of Hale Cook will be directly tied to our level of ownership and support and the level to which our parents enroll their children’.  The success of Hale Cook will also depend on how well the school district officials and the local parent group work together. Mr. Richey says Hale Cook has the ‘full support of the administration’.  That’s a good start. 

Visit the Hale Cook website and thanks for reading my blog!  You can reach me directly at mary.hutchison@prukc.com

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