Big Bear Lake, CA, July 15, 2010, 3:52pm – The Lighthouse Project has released the information they gathered from a Community Forum for Schools they hosted that was conducted on May 5, 2010 in an open forum for community members to share their ideas for coping with the current financial crisis in education in a proactive, constructive and unified manner. Over 65 people from many different sectors of the community, including parents, educators, students, business owners and retired citizens were in attendance. The data collected suggests a prevailing concern relating to curriculum. There were many comments related to a continuing trend focusing education on remediation at the expense of high achieving students. Equally, many called for the restoration of arts education, enrichment programs, vocational and technical courses as well as athletics. The community seems to be amendable to a restructuring of the district and recognizes that including a place for leveraging the assets unique to Big Bear and our community in any sort of restructuring would be very beneficial. Environmental factors, including facilities and class sizes, were also prevalent in the discussions. Another prevailing theme was that schools should reflect a level of respect, including the care and maintenance of facilities and the social discourse between parents, teachers and students. The important roles of parents and teachers in the quality of education were also noted. All comments were captured by facilitators, categorized for data analysis, and provided to Bear Valley Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Wright. The summary data from the forum provides the school district with insight into the concerns and desires of the community, as well as a resource for task forces and ‘think tank’ resources that can be deployed as we continue to navigate through rough financial times for our schools. Many attendees expressed a willingness to participate in further discussions to move forward with ideas for revenue generation. A full report can be viewed on the Lighthouse Project website at bigbearlighthouse.com.
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