Unit 4 on the radio

Dr. Wiegand was featured on both WIXY (with Steve Holstein “HoCo”) and WDWS (Jim Turpin “Penny for your thoughts”). Sounds like they had a ton of fun on HoCo, and Steve asked some really good questions – I highly recommend you check it out. Many of the same things are repeated on the Penny show, but Dr. Wiegand had Marc Changnon and Stephanie Stuart with her, to help answer a range of questions/comments from callers (some obviously opposed to the referendum, some clearly in favor).


Along with Jess’s comment last night, I feel these are great conversations to be having, if only a year ago. 🙂 There was a comment on one of the shows about how Dr. Wiegand’s campaign is doing really well. It is not quite her campaign, but I do give big kudos to the “Friends of Champaign Schools” for running such a well-organized and well-done effort.


On the radio show, Dr. Wiegand highlight two of the main priorities they are addressing via the referendum; capacity and programming. When I heard the explanation, I could not help but boil it down purely to capacity issues; it seems to me that the current problems with programming (as mentioned on the show) could be vastly alleviated if capacity were not an issue at all. Marc Changnon also spoke at lenght during the Penny show about the Trades. I found it interesting that one caller submitted that the Agricultural Trades are actually exeperiencing a drastic decline in employment because of the rise of mega- and corporate forms, which comes with large farming vehicles and significant amounts of automation. Another discussion point was that of how much is being spent per square foot and per student. Dr. Wiegand says that we would be right in the middle for schools in the area (Unit 4 has had several slides to this effect). One caller made the comparison to Texas, which (if I recall correctly) ranged from $76 to $180 per student, quite a bit less than what we are planning on.


I encourage you to listen to both as you have time.

Dr. Wiegand on "Penny for your Thoughts"

Hat tip to Lynn Peisker for announcing that Dr. Wiegand was going to be joining Jim Turbin on “Penny for your thoughts” this morning.


I did a little head scratching and came up with 4 questions I wanted to pose:

  1. Update on Public Engagement Firm concerning the high school options
  2. Update on RFP for School Assignment
  3. Reflections/thoughts about Leadership Book Study
  4. Top issues of the day


Jim essentially asked two of my questions for me (#1 indirectly, and #4). Dr. Wiegand conversed with one caller who was commenting on the “distinguished” high school graduation ceremonies last night. Jim and Dr. Wiegand chatted about the big changes going on with Carrie Busey, Westview, with a minor and very slight tangent about the name(s) of the schools (what to call the building on Kirby in 3 years when it is done being a revolving door?). Dr. Wiegand shared how 5 new classes are being added to accomodate the record-setting incoming students. When asked about the high school options, Dr. Wiegand mentioned that things are still rather up in the air (my words), that the single mongo high school option is still on the table (2 middle schools 6-7, a prep school for 8-9 and a high school for 10-12). She mentioned that Holly Nelson, the graduate student who has taken on Unit 4 as a research project, will be reporting at the June 11th Board Meeting. She concluded by stating that the District is still very much interested in hearing what parents and community members think, and they are possibly engaging a PE firm in the Fall. When asked about some of the big things going on, Dr. Wiegand mentioned that she is looking forward to meeting the new Administrative Staff (ie, Dr. Laura Taylor, Dr. Susan Zola, Ms. Angela Smith).


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