The Principal, faculty, and staff at Denman Middle School rolled out the red carpet to welcome families to discuss quality middle school and K-8 pathways. Kudos to Denman MS, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Parents for Public Schools (PPS), and Board of Education Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for coordinating the evening in a professional and effective manner. It was obvious that a lot of time went into preparing for the first community forum. I estimate that 80 to 100 people were in attendance.
At check-in, families got brochures and handouts from Denman, SFUSD, PPS, PAC, and the YMCA OMI/Excelsior Beacon center (they provide free, onsite after-school programs at Denman). Childcare was available, as promised, and refreshments and food were plentiful and nicely displayed. The evening started in Denman’s beautiful auditorium. After presentations by Denman’s principal Han Phung and by the SFUSD, parents were divided into smaller groups for in-depth discussions of prearranged topics and questions (this will ensure consistency at all forums). In each classroom, an interpreter assisted non-English speaking attendees, a scribe recorded comments, and the moderator used flip-chart paper to distill the comments down to bullet points. At the end of the breakout session, everyone reconvened in the auditorium, and a spokesperson for each classroom presented their top item for discussion. SFUSD responded to questions and comments, and even stayed after the forum ended to continue discussions with families. Everyone was approachable and engaged.
Parents who want more information about quality middle school and K-8 pathways are encouraged to attend one of the Community Forums. Voice your concerns and offer alternate suggestions.
Finally, one point of clarification: you do not need to attend the forum at your prospective middle school; you can attend any session on any date.