The tragic news of neighborhood schools being closed due to budget mistakes or charter school losses is a disaster if all alternatives have not been tried. $150,000+ "miracle worker" administrators are NOT needed when that same money can fund three teachers!
Student achievement is driven by motivation, students knowing where they came from and were they are going. Most parents and their students do not keep a constant focus on either. When parents see that change in their school and realize there is a focus on their child and their parental goals in a school, they will not transfer their child to another school!
Imagine parents being asked, every time they enroll their Pre-K child, to submit letters each parent writes to their child about their goals for their child. Imagine this happening every year through second grade. Imagine a 700-pound vault at the school designated as the School Time Capsule. It holds these priceless records of child development and parental development in an envelope for each child. Can you see the feelings of the parents for the school changing?
Each school has two or three volunteer Time Capsule Postmasters who help these letters follow the child and their parent as change happens. The Postmasters help the third graders write letters to each parent and close relative asking for a letter back about their dreams for them, and with a story from their history they want the child to know.
Such letter writing happens once in every grade. The Postmasters hand out the previous years letters in each class as the next letter writing assignment starts. From year to year each child sees the goals of their parents and relatives and their own plans for the future as they evolve.
Changing plans is never a problem. The disaster is when a child has no plans for their future.
Postmasters help the 5th grade letters find the child in middle school 6th grade to help make that often hard transition a bit easier.
As students experience the power of writing year to year, their dedication to writing improves.
In the 8th grade all letters from parents, family, and the student are focused on dreams 10 years into the future. These letters stay in the vault until the 10-year reunion for that 8th grade class coordinate by the Postmaster.
This no-cost (beyond the money for the vault) volunteer-ran project helps students see the power of writing, their family history, and planning for the future. Achievement soars! The attachment to these community schools soars! Rarely will students transfer their child to another school. No need for any closure.
Would you like to be a Time Capsule Postmaster and see your favorite school improve?
This is a way to save money and massively increase student achievement while decreasing behavior problems, and the probability of a school closing, at the same time. See https://schooltimecapsule.blogspot.com/