Having completed the three day math institute put on by the district, I am now fully prepared to face what will be a confounding summer. "Confounding" because there is this span of two months that could be filled with fun and activity, but there is also this uncertainty lingering over my future with the aforementioned school district.
Across town, at Parker Elementary, parents and community organizers have begun to occupy that school. They were "on the list" for closure at the end of this school year. Meanwhile, the neighborhood has decided to take matters into their own hands. After the fifth grade promotion on that last Wednesday of May, a group of parents decided to stick around. They set up tents outside. The brought food and asked for donations. They plan to keep the school open through the summer, emerging phoenix-like in the fall as that dream of so many: The Community School.
Which poses a challenge to the powers that be. This building that they insist should be empty is being used by those who live nearby as a center for education and support. If no one shows up, then the problem just goes away. If families send their kids to this new iteration of Parker, then what they have on their hands is a charter school. The very thing that the district has been angling for all these months.
Except the folks at Parker probably won't offer to lease the building at some ridiculous amount per month. Will the district act to have the squatters removed? Will they hope that it simply dries up and withers on the vine?
And what will happen next year when the district has this problem times ten, when the rest of "the list" is slated for closure? I may not head on over this month to pitch in and teach science or chess, but the folks at Parker definitely have my attention. And respect. And support.