By Jenn Wright
On Tuesday, January 31st, the newly-appointed leader of the School Reform Commission (SRC), Pedro Ramos, visited SLA for a tour and conversation.
His visit lasted two hours. For the first hour, he toured the school and observed classrooms with Principal Lehmann, then sat down with two SLA parents, Senior Tariq Smith, Junior Morgan Marant, Freshman Nikki Adeli, and several teachers.
“During the tour he seemed pretty surprised at the amount of kids in the hallway during projects,” said Marant. “He also asked a lot of questions.”
The visit was facilitated by a parent to give Ramos a chance to see the school. With no specific agenda, the discussion focused on how SLA does things and a wider scope about current education in general.
During the discussion, the parents spoke to the the reasons they appreciate SLA, while Lehmann spoke to the “ethic of care” that is established within the school. The adults in the room did the majority of speaking.
Ramos’ visit reflects the increased positive attention on SLA from the District. Other events include the December 6th evening meeting with now-former Superintendent Leroy Nunery and an all-day visit with a deputy superintendent.
The recent political unrest and mounting debt in the District has caused widespread changes and prompted reexamination of schools–and the hope that SLA could provide an example of what the District could do in the future.
Asking other schools to adopt some of SLA’s practices–or any major transformation–is not simple, however.
“Most District schools,” Mr. Lehmann said, “have never been given the time to develop a model.”
Ramos was in a hurry towards the end of his visit, leaving the discussion open. The dialogue is expected to continue as the District continues to reform.