The Council Rock community is invited to a free “Coffee With Citizens” forum hosted by Citizens For Education (CFE) on Friday, October 26, from 10:30am-noon in the Northampton Township Library Conference Room. The forum provides an opportunity to share Council Rock-related ideas and concerns with the board members of CFE, as well as to find out more about the organization. Citizens For Education is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, community group whose objectives are to ensure a quality education for all students of the Council Rock School District, to better inform the Council Rock community of educational issues, and to increase the involvement of the community in the decision making processes affecting the quality of education in Council Rock. For 20 years, CFE has been a strong voice as educational delivery evolves and is deliberated. The officers and board members are volunteers who care about the quality of education in Council Rock. Membership is open to the public and membership forms can be found at www.citizensforeducation.com. Some of the causes CFE has researched and advocated for include:
Test Return Policy – After two years of dialogue, which began because many classes did not allow students to bring home tests and other assessments, CFE successfully advocated for a revised test return policy. Effective fall 2012, all tests, quizzes, essays, papers, lab reports and homework will be available to come home with students. (The exceptions are district exams, i.e., quarterlies, midterms, finals.)
Charter Schools – CFE put forth a concerted effort to prevent Council Rock tax dollars from being siphoned away from our students and school district.
Class Size – As class sizes alarmingly grew, CFE continually brought this to the forefront resulting in a Class Size Committee being commissioned and two of the committee’s recommendations implemented as District policy. CFE continues to track class sizes and their educational appropriateness at all levels.
Building of Council Rock South and Renovations at Council Rock North – By constant leafleting at events, attendance at public meetings, speaking out at School Board meetings and lobbying of elected officials, CFE persistently educated the community about the need for a 2nd high school and, in turn, the construction of CRHS South was completed in 2002. When North’s renovations were being considerably scaled back, CFE lobbied at Board meetings and distributed flyers to the public. This helped ensure that needed improvements were included in the renovation.
Middle Level Education – CFE was a consistent and vocal part of the effort to bring Middle Level curriculum to Council Rock, moving from a Junior High curriculum to a team teaching approach.
Counseling – For many years, CFE has kept a strong focus on strengthening all areas of counseling. Many improvements have taken place, including the addition of guidance counselors in the elementary schools. CFE remains committed to lobbying for a full-time, full-year College Placement Specialist to aide both students and the current counselors in navigating the ever-changing college admissions criteria so CR students are better poised to gain admissions into the competitive schools for which they are qualified.
Voter Registration – In collaboration with the high school Political Science Clubs, CFE conducts voter registration drives multiple times a year at each high school. This service helps students who turn 18 during the school year to easily register to vote and pick up absentee ballot request forms.
Elementary Music – In 2001, the District appeared intent on moving elementary instrumental music group practices and programs from the instructional day, to before/after school, or during recess. So that parents could be part of the decision, CFE distributed 3,000 flyers at school concerts. This helped to keep the music program offerings as part of instruction during the school day.
Citizens For Education realizes that success of these and future undertakings are a result of not just the due diligence of its board and members, but also the school directors and administrators who are willing, despite possible opposition, to advance the cause of quality education. CFE not only thanks our members for their past support but also asks the community to help us to continue to be a strong advocate for quality education by becoming a CFE member, reading and redistributing CFE’s information, writing letters, and lobbying decision makers. For more information, or to become a CFE member, email Citizens4ed@yahoo.com and you will receive a membership form.