We have a four-day weekend this weekend, but I still worked on Friday. The other science person and I headed over to another school district to talk to them about how they run their science kit center. Budget posturing in my district will be done by the end of this month and we'll know for sure if we have the funds to move forward with a little center of our own.
I spent last Friday with another specialist in yet another district talking about their program. And after each of these meetings---and similar ones I've had since December---I'm left wondering, why would a district not have its own center?
I suppose that it all comes down to one thing: money.
Originally, the idea of joining the group we're with now was to pool resources. Doesn't it make sense that if you combine the buying power of fourteen districts, that you might be able to get a break vs. doing everything yourself? Except that isn't what has happened...and now we're seeing that it's cheaper to deal with things ourselves. We also gain some flexibility in the curriculum we deliver and can "personalize" the kits to suit what's happening in our district.
The most interesting thing that came out of the meeting on Friday was the idea that this district would also be willing to partner with us to deliver some professional development to teachers in terms of science content. We're all noticing the same thing: teachers can follow the script in the kit, but that's a whole different animal than understanding the science behind things.
This week, I hope to finalize some budget estimations for our possible kit center. Things are looking pretty favourable so far. And who knows? Maybe this week will bring news from yet another center to help us get on the bandwagon.