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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

Perrysburg: "Education 101" paints picture of schools


To teach people about what today's schools are like, the Perrysburg Community Partnership is sponsoring a series of four panel discussions about various aspects of education in the Perrysburg schools.

The "Education 101" discussions, during which teachers, students, recent graduates, school board members, and the treasurer will answer questions, will be held at 7 p.m. at Way Library, beginning on Wednesday.

"It's designed to help citizens understand all of the different things that are impacting education today," said Mary Richter. She is the Partnership's coach, organizing meetings and making sure progress is happening.

Questions will be prepared ahead of time but not shared with the panelists so the discussion will be spontaneous, Mrs. Richter said.

"We don't want it to be a prepared session," she said.

The Perrysburg school district started the Community Partnership group early last fall as a way of talking with residents about what they value in the community. The Education 101 sessions are designed to address concerns that were raised then.

"These 101 opportunities are a means to share different perspectives," board President Barry Van Hoozen said.

At next week's session, Mrs. Richter said teachers from the high school, junior high, and elementaries could discuss how the No Child Left Behind act and the state's accountability system have affected the classroom. She said the group hopes to have both veteran and newer teachers.

At a future discussion, recent graduates could offer their perspectives on their high school educations.

"They may be reflecting on their preparation for either college or work," she said.

The Partnership is addressing other aspects of education as well, she said.

In December, it sponsored a talk on special education. It is planning to hold a town hall in late March with a substance-abuse prevention organization to share the results of a school drug and alcohol use survey.

"The Community Partnership is in its infancy," Mrs. Richter said. "We're trying to get some things going."

The second discussion, on March 7, is about students. The third, on March 16, is about the school board. The fourth session, on March 21, will be about how school budgets work.

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