Superintendent Manuel Ramirez scheduled a student advisory council session on December 14, 2018 with student leaders from High School for Media and Communications, the College Academy, High School for Health Careers and Sciences, and the High School for Law and Public Service to understand how to better life at the George Washington Educational Campus (GWEC).
Student representatives from each of the four schools came together to discuss what the campus needed to be repaired physically and academically. Students expressed safety issues, vermin infestation, additional fun electives and bathroom conditions as areas in need.
Superintendent Ramirez understood that many parts of the building had holes where vermin are able to crawl into and disturb learning in classrooms and promised to get professionals involved to address this issue. However, he also shared that a big part of the issue are the students that consume a large amount of food daily in classrooms and the prominent amount of littering.
The student representatives and Superintendent Ramirez made a compromise to keep the classrooms clean while he worked with the GWEC custodial team to seal any passages that vermin may use. Over the winter break, he sent a progress report on all the issues discussed to the student representatives. The progress report communicated that Superintendent Ramirez did come through with his promise–the custodians sealed all holes they found.
In addition, the contract between the campus and the pest control company will dedicate two hours of service to the building. Any sightings of pest should be reported to the school principal who will then report them to the custodial staff.
Another concerning issue was safety. One student shared that some staircases do not have railings which is a safety concern that Superintendent Ramirez also had. Based on the progress report, he had to issue a work order on the staircase railings; the status of it is still pending.
An additional issue the Superintendent raised was the horrible conditions of our bathrooms. He described the bathrooms as outdated and inefficient. One student shared that some bathroom stalls are missing doors. Since the initial meeting with student representatives in December, eight bathroom locks have been replaced, confirmed the progress report. Superintendent Ramirez recommends that any other broken stalls be reported to school leaders.
Referencing to the progress report, Superintendent Ramirez tried to fix all concerns that were brought up regarding physical facilities. However, on the educational changes most topics are still pending. Topics like students with disabilities who need help to graduate and continue on to have a higher education, bilingual students who are suffering in monolingual classes was also another issue mentioned. Other topics like additional electives, the campus library needing a librarian, working electronics and college prep for underclassmen were deliberate about.
He shared that these issues will be difficult to fix because it takes time, and there is limited numbers of bilingual teachers in the DOE. Also most of these concerns must go through a system of people to be approved. But The Superintendent promised to keep finding solutions to the academic issues and update the campus representatives.