New Superintendent of Schools Starts School Budgeting for 2017-18 Early with Community Forum to Hear Parent/Community Concerns

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6-First Forum

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey November 13, 2017:

Dr. Joseph Ricca held his first Community Forum on the Budget in October at White Plains High School before 25 persons, two-third of whom were parents with children in the school district.

Dr. Ricca said at the outset the forum was to hear parents’ concerns and issues and hear their suggestions for the 2017-18 budget in order that they might be addressed before the number-crunching on the budget begins. For the first time parents expressed concern about writing skills of students entering high school


Some issues about elementary school policies were raised, but towards the end of the meeting three different parents expressed concerns that eighth graders are not writing as well as the parents themselves did when they were in eighth grade.  (English Language Assessment Tests found just 39% of eighth graders passed the ELA Test, but no parents brought this statistic up as a concern). The parents expressed the desire to have more emphasis in some way at the high school to work all  the students harder to improve their ability to write.

Another parent wanted the school district to eliminate the charge for busing students to the high school, saying it is a burden on poor parents.

A Latino parent observed that liaisons and support for Latino students appears to her to suffer when Latino and English Language Learners enter high school. She said efforts to continue to improve and continue support for such students should be undertaken at the high school, saying they “fall through the cracks.” This parent added that to involve the Latino community to a greater extent the school district should have translators at school meetings.

Another suggested courses in trades should be installed at the high school curriculum for those students who were not going to college education.

A request for a permanent concession stand be installed at the Loucks Stadium facility.

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