All Faculty Meeting Notes 1/7/15

*Community meeting next Monday at 6:30.

–No faculty meeting next Wednesday, since the Monday meeting is mandatory for faculty in order for us to stand in solidarity in the community meeting.

–Faculty are asked to come earlier to rehearse the lines for the collaborative poem.  Megan will polish the collaborative poem and will send it out via e-mail.

Courtney wants us to think about media and passing on videos as part of the marketing.

Agenda for the community meeting includes:

Slideshow from the Holiday performance before the meeting begins

Centering

Cory will describe financial situation and budget, Annual campaign

Megan: Accomplishments for school (This is what is happening) at OCS

Writing prompts: Will be turned into a collaborative poem for the community meeting on Monday.  Some lines collaborative and some are single personal performance.

Prompts: Before I knew how to______________, I used to______________

People think education is________________, but at Odyssey education is______________

People think my job is to _____________, but really I

I am the teacher who_____________________ 3X

Odyssey is the school that  _________________3X

In the wonder of my classroom________________

Without my students__________________

Without Odyssey_____________________

*Processing about the changes: General themes

STAFF

Disappointed and sad losing staff and some of the specific staff members and some of the representatives of demographics, close relationships with individuals, consistent  personal qualities of some of these folks including:  inspiration/self of humor/ enthusiasm, creativity/ presence, skills in the classroom, scheduling support throughout the day.

__ We love the people that have that we are losing. We grieve about these losses that were all based on financial criteria.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES AROUND THE CHANGES

–Anxiety around the state of the school and future.  Our community needs to recognize the hard bottom line of the mission and commitment for OCS to exist.

–We are at a critical moment where we need to be very intentional.  Every choice would be made with an eye for supporting children with as little disruption as possible.

–Determined to find solutions and hopeful optimism for the upcoming challenges. With the changes in staffing, we need to consider ways of shifting the rhythm for being with children in calmer ways that support self-care and relaxation being with the children.

_We have to buckle down do our best and find solutions, schedules, etc. that support the larger community. We need to continue creative visualization and intentional work.  All of the conscious energy of the administration/board/faculty may take longer, but the wisdom of the universe is that it will always take off at some point. The energy of the Capital Campaign will unfold in its time.  We can continue to persevere.

_Some folks are somewhat daunted by the necessity of new changes, areas of growth, and transformation. We need to let go of the fear.

_ There is still a sense of denial and some level of frustration that we are not able to answer the student’s questions or give explanations about schedule that have been impacted by the changes.

_What it means to come together as a community and it affects the students and how they may take the absences of so many people, wefeel for the kids who are very attached to the specific faculty members

–Turbulent year for many programs with changing numbers, student/ parent needs, demographics, program needs

–People still really believe.  Many of the programs are getting new students and new energy. We have a “net” that will hold us together.  This is way too precious to let it fall.

–The process is very integral with the interior world, exterior world, hard work, cognitive understanding, community, spiritual practice, imagination, etc.

FINANCIAL/MARKETING/PR CHALLENGES

The reality is that pretty much every school has financial woes. We will need to get the presence out in the community such as: art work in the banks, the holiday parades, philanthropy, Grandparent’s Day, etc.

We can make a bigger net and we can approach the Integral Education philosophy/community for resources, Edutopia,  the larger community, Southeast region, and the local Asheville area people can see us as viable.

–Teachers have not been as aware of the significant financial needs of the school. Members of our development committee might be able to talk to the relatives and family members to support the financial needs of the school.  These include support materials, etc.

We are at the point where we have to talk finances with parents. Board members have been reaching out to parents and to Asheville community members and philanthropic agencies.

–Some of our offerings such as Spanish in the younger grades that have gotten lost recently may impact some of the commitment of our families.

__How will the larger community receive the news when we are in so much transition as large and small communities within OCS. Last year, we had such a complex transition and it had so many unintended consequences for parents, faculty, and students themselves.

What is the role and questions related to charter schools in this town that has a great reputation with alternative education. As charter schools emerge and grow in Asheville, there is local and state mandates that separate our programs from theirs. The non-tangibles in charter schools such as the emotional life of students are still similar to public schools.

We are one of 2 schools that we know of that offer 1/ 12 ratio.

–This is our opportunity for all community members to process, identify their level of commitment based on particular factors, ask questions, meet with board members, brainstorm, focus on solutions.  We have worked this year to generate a sense of transparency at every level with parents. We discuss the need honestly and then we collaborate to meet that need.


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