Friday, July 27, 2001

Local school committees to be trained

Sessions will explain powers

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More training will be available this school year to Cincinnati Public Schools parents, community members, teachers and school staff to help them understand the decision-making power they have in their schools.

        School-community groups — now called local school decision-making committees — have had a say in how CPS schools are run for two decades, but the district is trying to improve the process.

        While some committees function well, others do not, said Michael L. Jones, chair of an oversight committee formed in January to help train the community decision-makers.

        “Some LSDMCs don't feel they can speak out freely or don't have the knowledge and the training to do so,” he said.

        Mr. Jones' 20-member oversight committee — in cooperation with the CPS administration — will help the school groups understand the power they have within their individual schools to:

        • Approve the school budget.

        • Set and monitor school goals.

        • Approve changes in their schools' program or focus.

        • Participate in principal selection.

        • Assist the district with facilities planning.

        Training sessions for the school groups will begin in August and will be offered every month through May except December, he said.

        Tim DeLong, a parent and chairman of the local school-decision making committee at Sands Montessori, said additional training would be useful.

        Some members of that school's decision-making group don't understand their role in deciding where the students from their crumbling school building will be relocated, he said.

        “There's a huge void if you have an issue on how to get it worked out,” Mr. DeLong said.

        Along with the additional training, Mr. Jones said a Web site and hot line are being planned.

        “It's another way of providing support to the schools to help them do what they do better,” said district spokeswoman Jan Leslie.

        The first training session for the Partners in Education members, chairs of the school decision-making groups and principals will be 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 22 in the CPS Education Center at 2651 Burnet Ave., Corryville. For information or to get involved, e-mail Michael L. Jones at


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