May 18th Meeting with BCPS

We would first like to thank Dr. Wheatley-Phillip, Assistant Superintendent, Zone 2, Mr. George Roberts, Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction, and Ms.Kara Calder, Executive Director, Strategic Planning from Team BCPS for coming to CVE to discuss the future of CVE. A sincere thank you also goes out to all of the teachers, parents, Mrs. Morrison, and Mr. Gromek for coming out to show your support for CVE!
Here is a summary of what we learned tonight:

*CVE will remain a magnet school.
*Sibling priority placement will remain in effect.
*There will be a catchment zone/neighborhood boundary.
*The application process will remain closed for 2 years.
*The timeline that BCPS has set for CVE is as follows:
*SY 2015-2016: Explore and define CVE magnet exposure program.
*SY 2016-2017: Begin boundary study process & accept magnet                               applications for SY 2017-2018.
*SY 2017-2018: Implement boundary & phase in new magnet exposure program.
*BCPS is looking for community input. Concerns, questions, suggestions can be emailed to: boe@bcps.org. Input and questions will be accepted at this email address between May 19th-June 2nd.
*Dr. Wheatley-Phillip and Mr. Roberts also encouraged people to look at the information that will be presented at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, 5/19/15. That information can be found here. The attached report reflects the work of the Magnet Task Force. The PowerPoint presentation provides an update to the Board on the work of the task force along with only recommendations which are being forwarded to the Board of Education for consideration from the superintendent. A vote on the recommendations will take place at the June 9, 2015, Board of Education Meeting.
*In addition, Laurie Trentler, PTA President has sent a letter to BCPS today re: last night’s meeting. You can read that letter in its entirety here:

Dear Dr. Wheatley-Phillip,

Thank you so much for providing some clarity and direction about the future of Cromwell Valley Elementary School. The information that you provided about our Magnet Status affirms that our magnet program is successful and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future. It is also helpful to have a timeline in regards to a catchment zone and magnet application process going forward.

While we are extremely grateful for the information that you have shared, there are still a few outstanding items that we would like to have addressed.

As a result of the last few years of flux, we have lost enrollment as well as faculty. This loss has taken a toll on the morale and engagement at our school. There has been a significant decrease in involvement in PTA sponsored events and fundraisers. Additionally, while students currently seem to show minimal to no impact from the changes going on around them, we are concerned that it is only a matter of time before they are affected.

Parents are very concerned about the loss of faculty and splitting classrooms as a way of managing the decreased student population. This has created a great deal of anxiety for parents, leading some to consider alternative options.

In light of the past uncertainty for our school, we believe that there is a great opportunity to work with BCPS to help make a smooth transition to our future state. We are hoping that BCPS can commit to keeping the current staffing at CVE static, so that teachers and students can continue to fully function in the environment that has been so beneficial for so many years. Understanding that this is a unique situation, we are asking that no further changes to our staffing levels occur and that we have a continued commitment to maintain those levels as we transition over the next few years.

Specifically we would like to ensure:
· Full staffing for all of our special area teachers
· Maintaining full teaching staff (3 at each grade level) for all of our classrooms, regardless of a possible decrease in enrollment

Thank you so much for your continued support and understanding for our school. It means so much to us that you have been responsive and open to listening to our concerns. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Ltrentler@yahoo.com.

Kindest Regards,

Laurie Trentler
PTA President
Cromwell Valley Elementary School

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