Dorothy Jean Collins is the Administrative Assistant at Burckhalter Elementary
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the School Site Council meeting at Burckhalter School. There was really good parent turnout, and like most of the schools in D6, they were focused on how to allocate their discretionary funds for next year's budget.
There were two discussions among the parents that especially interested me, one about traffic in the area and the need for a crossing guard. It has been a struggle to get this approved because it involves doing studies of the traffic in the area. Their first request was rejected, but now it is looking like their second request will be approved, which will keep the students at the school safer. This is a project of the newly organized PTO group at the school.
The other large discussion was about some parents' concerns about the options for middle school in the area. One family indicated that they would likely be leaving Oakland when their daughter ages out of Burckhalter because of their dissatisfaction with the middle school options. I know that this is a huge issue in Oakland, the large number of families that leave the district schools after elementary school, so it was good for me to hear their concerns.
Burckhalter has a beautiful library that is staffed by volunteers from the AAUW two days a week. They do tutoring, maintain the library, help the kids check out books and do story time. This is a real service the AAUW is providing to kids in District 6.
I also learned that Burckhalter students are also accomplished orators. They won the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Contest last year, in multiple categories.
Finally, I had the chance to meet Dorothy Jean Collins, the school's Administrative Assistant. She shared that candidates often focus on the issues facing teachers and administrators, and don't think about the role of other school staff. Dorothy pointed out that Burckhalter has grown in recent years, but the size of the administrative staff has not. It was a good reminder about the ecosystem of the schools, and all the many people who make schools nurturing places for kids. Thanks Dorothy!