The Punishment for Complaining About a School Calendar

TendanceHere’s a little tip for those of you at home … if you complain about something regarding your school district’s calendar, you’ll likely be punished with a spot on the district’s calendar committee.

And, if you happen to not strangle anyone during the district calendar committee meetings – particularly those bungee committee members who come into the last meeting ready to press all their ideas that had been discussed ad nauseum at the three prior meetings – you’ll be “rewarded” with the opportunity to serve on other committees.

Which all it explains how little ol’ anti-social, anti-meeting me came to be on the Peoria Unified School District’s long range planning committee. And how I found myself yesterday shvitzing in a room at Heritage Elementary School, where a couple of the air conditioners decided to give way during the day.

(Sure, that probably was awful for the little kiddos during the day but, of course, seeing as I’m a princess my bigger concern was my own comfort at the meeting.)

Anywho, as we discussed different ideas for what the district’s values should be, real estate came up in an ancillary fashion. And it wasn’t even me who brought it up.

A successful district can become a destination for would-be homeowners for a couple of different reasons:

  1. Parents obviously want their kids in schools that give them the opportunity to get a quality education that will prepare them for life after school
  2. Those without kids want to purchase in a place where property values have the best possibility of rising and, not coincidentally, the school district has something to do with that. Perceived excellent school district = place people want to buy = stable to increasing property values.

Did I mention I wasn’t even the person who brought this up?

As with most districts, Peoria has been faced with the challenge of population migration; homeowners tend to look for newer homes (unless price or personal taste – getting away from the cookie cutters and the HOAs – dictates otherwise.) One of the ways it has done so is through magnet programs at different elementary and high schools.

My daughter, for instance, spent a year at Foothills Elementary as part of the district’s Fine Arts Institute; students particularly adept at engineering and math can attend a specialized program at Heritage (and, theoretically, gain hands-on engineering experience while repairing the air conditioning system.)

Language immersions, gifted academies, accelerated learning … all exist at different places throughout the district. You might say it’s a district of opportunity, though that may or may not be one of the values suggested during our clearly top-secret meeting.

Truth be told, while I whine it’s not much of a punishment to be on these committees. All of my children have attended schools here in Peoria, and in a couple of cases may have contributed to their elementary school’s grade for the better or for the worse before moving on.

It’s not just that this is where my real estate business is. It’s where my roots are. It’s where my home is.

Having said that … two committees may be enough.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at