Three years ago, my son was accepted into Northeast High School’s Magnet Program. I didn’t know what to expect and was a bit apprehensive because it is the biggest high school in the city, and I worried that he would get lost in the shuffle. I sat in the auditorium at back to school night and listened to the principal, Ms. Carroll, talk about “her school” and “her kids.” She told us that we were welcome to walk into “her school,” unannounced and she would walk the halls with us. It was apparent to me that this woman had nothing to hide, no worries that her school wouldn’t be running up to par on any given day.
For the past two years, my son has been involved in the SPARC Program and he really loves it. Mrs. Karpinski and Mr. Connelly have really spent a lot of time with the students to help them get all that they could out of the experience. There are students that are interested in aerospace, engineering, medical fields, etc. This is one of the programs that were on the chopping block. Even though this is a special program that has been around for a long time, it’s not the only program that needs to survive.
The school district has separate funds for sports programs so they won’t be affected by the cuts. The message that they sent out the day they made the announcement was this: “If you’re not into sports, your interests hold no value.” I am grateful that Northeast has such a strong alumni who were willing to help out with SPARC, but no student in any school should have to be without the opportunity to find their interest in an after-school activity. Why should they be punished because they’re not athletically inclined?
Joseph DeFelice, executive director of the Republican City Committee, says the city must reign in spending. I agree whole-heartedly, but not only does City Council need to tighten their reigns, but all factions of government need to follow suit. The money that our politicians waste on themselves is outrageous. They drive state-issued cars, get free gas and they don’t pay for insurance, but yet they hike up our gas prices.
I don’t mind pitching in but I believe everybody should. City taxes are basically paid by the middle class. The welfare recipients pay very little, the big businesses pay none (at least for 10 or 20 years with their tax abatements).
I think there’s a big problem here. Tighten up your belt buckles, politicians. Cut out all of the pork from the city and state and I surely won’t feel bad about giving on my end. But we all know that won’t happen. All politicians are the same. When they’re getting in, it’s all about us and when they get in, it’s all about them.
Editor’s Note: In December of 2013, Northeast High announced there wasn’t enough money to continue any nonsports extracurricular activities, such as the SPARC program. However, alumni raised funds to keep the program functional for the rest of the school year.
Why oppose Gospel of Grace Christian School?
I found the recent article concerning Gospel of Grace Christian School to be misleading. I sat in a meeting over a month ago when everything was discussed amongst all parties. Fox Chase United Methodist did check with L&I and was told that use as a school was allowable. At the meeting, apologies were made to the neighbors for not letting them know about it. It was believed there was no need to do so, but later acknowledged that notice should have been given. Why keep bringing that up?
Pastor Kelley acknowledged that there would be no more than 30 students and the Methodist Church leadership affirmed that the number would be capped at 30.
In the article, it was conceded that the school parks a maximum of nine cars on the street each day. Fox Chase United Methodist Church frontage on Loney Street alone accommodates 12 cars. Does the Fox Chase Homeowners Association object to the church making use of parking in front of their building?
I’ve taught at GGCS since 2005. I’ve taught in their four different locations. Neighbors who got to know the school have loved it. Pastor Kelley utilizes the students to clean everything they walk past. Students are never unsupervised. In the other locations, there were above 100 students. None of those locations were opposed as is happening here. Any concerns were always addressed in a neighborly manner.
The concerns of the association have been addressed courteously. What real reason do they have to oppose a small, private Christian school? The Fox Chase United Methodist Church is able to utilize their building to educate future leaders of America with Christian values and high academic standards. Isn’t that something our founding fathers would endorse? Why would anyone oppose that?
Doesn’t being a neighbor work both ways? Fox Chase United Methodist has been a part of the neighborhood for over a century. How about recognizing that, and dealing with them in a neighborly fashion?