Superintendent Kicks Off First Of Community Meetings

A small but spirited and engaged crowd joined Superintendent Jeffrey W. Patterson at Hayes Elementary School on January 18 for the first of a series of community meetings he is holding across the city over the next month to listen to what citizens have to say about the future of the Lakewood City Schools.

After hearing Patterson’s vision for improving academic performance and providing 21st century skills for our students, the audience was brought up to speed on where the district is headed financially and reminded of what cost-cutting measures the administration already has taken over the last five years to keep the district in decent financial shape currently despite the challenging economic times. Balancing the budget into the future, however, will entail more cuts and this is where the audience expressed their desires for the school district.

A resounding theme of the night was the desire to keep elementary class sizes as low as possible. Maintaining the depth of programming and broad choice of extracurricular activities at the high school was also emphasized. Questions regarding the status of the district’s Phase III of its long-range construction plan also arose and Patterson provided an update as best he could considering the uncertainty at the state level regarding funding.

Patterson’s goal is to hear from as many citizens as possible as he goes from neighborhood to neighborhood as well as speaking to community groups such as the Lakewood Ministerial Association and at the city’s two senior centers.

There is still plenty of time to catch a meeting and share your thoughts. If you can’t make one of the meetings on the schedule, there is a chance to hear a recap of the community’s thoughts when Patterson holds a “Report Back to the Community” meeting on March 8 at 7 p.m. at Lakewood High’s East Cafeteria. Here is the remaining schedule:

Meetings (all begin at 7 p.m.):

  • Tuesday, January 24, Grant Elementary School Gym, 1470 Victoria Ave.
  • Thursday, February 2, Horace Mann Elementary, 1251 West Clifton Blvd. (child care provided, call 529-4074 to reserve space)
  • Wednesday, February 8, Roosevelt Elementary School Gym, 14237 Athens. Ave.
  • Wednesday, February 15, Lincoln Elementary School Large Gym, 15615 Clifton Blvd.
  • Thursday, February 23, Emerson Elementary School Cafeteria, 13439 Clifton Blvd.
  • Wednesday, February 29, Harrison Elementary School Cafeteria, 2080 Quail Ave. (child care provided, call 529-4074 to reserve space)
  • Report Back to Community: Thursday, March 8, Lakewood High East Cafeteria, 14100 Franklin Blvd.
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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 8:09 PM, 01.24.2012