Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Board to make decision on Tawanka

From the pages of the Courier Times . . .

Parents, students, teachers and board members like William Spitz and William O'Connor have expressed concerns over moving the program onto the high school campus, including having enough space, a kitchen and gym area, a permanent home, maintaining the anonymity and confidentiality of the teens, and avoiding temptation and anxiety.

You can read the rest of this article by clicking here.

7 comments:

JS said...

I still don't understand how it is twice the cost to move them to Eisenhower as it is to the High School.

Is that because they intend to utilize the High School Cafeteria and other facilities which wouldn't have to be upgraded unlike Eisenhower?

I still feel that the whole purpose of the Tawanka Program was to have that separate environment. If the Tawanka students are still going to be integrated for lunch and gym, then what is the point of having the seperate program.

Does this mean we won't have to pay for an extra principal for 60 kids as we do now?

Pianomom said...

Thank you Spitz and O'Connor for caring enough about the Tawanka students to take up their cause. Even a counselor of the program was quoted in the article as saying the program would lose its integrity if moved to the high school campus. Maybe some board members can make themselves feel better by saying that a move to the high school will open up classes to the Tawanka students that they didn't have before but that doesn't change the facts. Talk to any child you know at Tawanka and they'll tell you that the good of being separated from the mainstream high school students outweighs any bad of not having as many classes available.

William O'Connor said...

JS - The quick answer is that the classrooms at Eisenhower haven't been used in a very long time, and they are in a greater state of disrepair than the BELC. More work is needed to bring those rooms up to code.

JS said...

That's what I figured, but didn't realize it would be double the cost.

Still don't think the high school is the best option though. Cost wise yes it is, but not for what the program is trying to do.

I must be living in Jersey said...

Finding the good in putting the program up at the BELC is like finding a more comfortable room on the Titanic. In the end, it's a disaster. I know we want to keep expenditures down but we cannot allow that to make decisions that hurt the students.

LivininLevittown said...

if we cant afford eisenhouer because its to expensive to fix up, then isnt the high school a better option then sending these kids to programs outside of our district? It may not be the perfect alternative but it is the only one taxpayers can afford to give them. It may be tough on some of the students to be back at the high school but its better than going someplace else.

JS said...

If you are avoiding the whole point of having the separate Tawanka program (key word - separate) then why bother paying for it at all. If you want to save money then save it by shutting down the program if you are choosing to ignore a major detail of it's implementation.

I'm sure you'll agree that would be folly. I want us to save money as well, but I'd rather us spend a little extra and have the program continue flourishing and suceeding. If we spend a little less and the program fails to do what it is intended, aren't we just throwing money away anyway?