From: Ismail, Ahmed (GPPSS)
Sent: Sunday, May 08, 2016 10:22:35 AM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
To: Langan, Mary Beth
Cc: School Board; Niehaus, Gary
Subject: Revised Policy on Allowing Non Resident Staff Children to Attend GPPSS Tuition Free
Please excuse the delay in my responding to your email below.
You raise a lot of valid concerns, many of which I share.
The Policy Committee (Trustees Roeske, Summerfield and Valente) met this past week and have revised the first policy revisions on Policy 5111. The modifications would basically allow non resident staff members working more than a half day to enroll their children (subject to certain caveats) on a tuition free basis.
While I can't speak for the other members of the school board, I would appreciate your thoughts on the revised policy (copy attached).
Please feel free to email me, email the entire board at email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or to make your comments in person at the Board meeting tomorrow (Monday) night at Brownell at which time we will be discussing the policy attached.
Thank you and best wishes,
Ahmed Ismail, Trustee
Grosse Pointe Public School System
Phone: 313-343-9060<tel:313-343-9060> (The Portrait Place - 10am-5pm)
Notice to Recipient: The views expressed in this transmittal and its attachments (if any) are those of its author individually and are not necessarily shared by the other members of the Grosse Pointe Public School System's Board of Trustees and/or its administration. If you would like the official school board position on an issue or would like to communicate to all of the members of the school board at once, please send your email to email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. Thank you.
Mary Beth Langan
Mr. Ismail, thank you very much for your detailed reply to my request for information. I did not realize that May 9 included a full board meeting, with the Town Hall Meeting as item X (10) on the agenda. The Board calendar simply lists the May 9 meeting as a Town Hall Meeting and Ms. Fannon sent me a Town Hall Agenda for M, W + Th meetings next week (very helpful) but again, I didn't realize Monday's meeting was a double meeting. Thanks for clarifying that the Town Hall Meeting is preceded by a full board meeting. Also, Ms. Gafa, thank you for adding/clarifying that attendees will have two times to give comment at meetings: end of May 9 meeting and prior to the vote early in the May 23 meeting.
I'm surprised that there are building tours in the middle of the Town Hall Meetings. Some attendees may be there for the info in general and less for the info about that specific building. My son will be attending Grosse Pointe North HS next year so I am less interested in the exact building issues at next week's meeting locations (Brownell, Ferry & Defer). Knowing the cost of all of the district's buildings' issues is certainly important to the discussion, not necessarily a tour of them.
Regarding Enrollment Policy 5111, my first contact with the board asked where interested parties could get more information/research that went into the proposed changes. Are the changes meant to add more money to the district? Are they meant to boost the benefit package of (non-resident) employees/potential employees? What is the % of other districts in Michigan who have such a policy? Did districts who began this policy end up moving toward open enrollment afterward? I am not necessarily against a policy change for employees' children, but would not like this enrollment change to be a precursor to eventually having open enrollment. I believe our taxes are quite high and we have plenty of issues within our own district students' education to open enroll and take on more students' issues before we smooth out the education of our own students.
Two parts of the proposed changes peaked my interest regarding minimum gpa of the employee's child and that the child must not incur additional staffing costs. While I can be sensitive to the financial burden, it seems that these two items, most especially the second, is discriminatory agains students needing special education services. If these proposed changes are adopted, I would hope the changes would not be discriminatory in this manner. (yes, I am possibly more sensitive to this because I have a son receiving special education services who hasn't received all requests for accommodations for which I've asked, mostly due to money constraints)
If the changes are adopted, it seems only fair that if the employee is hosting a foreign exchange student, that the foreign exchange student would also be eligible. This is not currently included in the verbiage and perhaps should be added, should this be adopted.
Whether or not the proposed changes are adopted, I believe the part including foreign exchange student enrollment needs to be updated to include that the host family must be district residents. This is not currently in the document (under Section D). It leaves the district open to enrolling any foreign exchange student.
Thank you to all of the Board members who read and consider these comments.
I appreciate your time on this and all matters.
Mary Beth (aka Ms. Langan)
851 Washington Rd.
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230