I heard a funny joke about two men who encounter a bear while hiking in the woods. One of the men immediately stopped to take his boots off and put on his tennis shoes. The other man shouted, “You’re never gonna out run this bear.” The man replied, “I only have to out run you!”
We were scheduled to appear before the Program and Services Committee of the Appleton Area School District on Thursday, January 29. After submitting a presentation to the district so it would be available for use during the committee meeting, we received calls from both Assistant School Superintendents. It was their recommendation that we postpone our presentation and switch gears from contract renewal to a discussion focused solely on the possibility of the establishment of a School of Rhetoric. Therefore, after receiving approval for our high school, we could then propose a contract that acknowledges the establishment of a fully classical K-12 educational program.
My opening joke showcases the very worst in human nature. How very “un-classical” of the one hiker! The postponement of our meeting does not reflect any obstacles in our path or an attempt by the district, perceived or otherwise, at sabotaging our efforts. To the contrary, we are grateful for the feedback we received and the advice to put forth a fully developed and thoughtful plan for the completion of our educational program. To be clear, it does also not reflect their support for our proposal, nor should it. Our job is to convince them and the Board that there’s something missing from the “options” presently available at the high school level and we know what it is.
While hiking in the mountains this past summer with my family, I learned that if you encounter a bear you should play dead. My instinct would be to run and the thought of letting a bear sniff me and toss me about made me want to abandon the hike. Fortunately, we’re not being chased by a bear so the wisdom of staying put, quietly doing what we do, and trying our very best not to “look alive,” does not apply to us. If we’re going to grow and expand and become the very best classical school we can be, we need to engage. We need to take this opportunity to ask the Appleton area community to learn more about our educational program and why we are an important “option” to have. And, we need to thank them for their support, assure them that we genuinely care about the success of ALL students in the district, and we will work hard for their continued support of Classical School.
What now? The SOR Expansion Committee has done a wonderful job of gathering some very important information. Now, we need some nuts and bolts to put this school together! We have an Expansion Committee meeting scheduled for Monday, February 2, at 6:30 pm in Room 124 at Classical School. Further, Dean Fischer and I are hoping to meet with Ben Vogel and Judy Baseman sometime next week to get their advice and formulate an AASD presentation plan.
As always, please feel free to call or email me with questions.
Anne Tretinyak, President
Classical Charter School Association Board