Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Question of Coordination

A Question of Coordination

In our busy day-to-day lives, all of us sometimes double-book ourselves.

Nevertheless it can be frustrating when the calendars and schedules of major institutions and organizations with which we are involved do not coordinate so well.

For example, this week is spring break at Washington University, Saint Louis University and Saint Louis Community College.

Next week is spring break for Saint Louis Public Schools. For students the break sort of starts this Friday - St Patrick's Day - because that's a parent-teacher conference day.

The week after that is spring break for the University of Missouri Saint Louis.

For folks who have connections with multiple institutions, it would be great if those institutions could coordinate on a spring break schedule. I'm surprised University City School District also scheduled its break for the last week in March, since this week is WashU's break. Maybe there aren't that many WashU parents with kids in U City schools anymore? Although I guess that would work out well if you were taking classes at UMSL and had kids in U City schools.

Back when I was a student in SLPS, spring break was always the week before or after Easter. Even if it was the week after, students still had a holiday for Good Friday. The latter tradition still holds; April 14th will be a day off for SLPS students. I'm not sure that was the best timing, either, given that Easter sometimes falls in March and sometimes in April. I guess now that MAP is scheduled for the whole month of April, they wanted to have the break just beforehand.

Similarly, it seems odd that the Operation Brightside Blitz schedule starts this Saturday, March 18th, when that's also the date for the annual St Louis Neighborhoods Conference sponsored by SLACO. Since both organizations pull from a similar base of attendance and participation, and since most people think about Blitz as being in April, it's a little confusing.

So if you live in Brightside's "Region 3 North" or "Region 3 South", Blitz day will be this Saturday, March 18th. That's the following neighborhoods:

Region 3 North: bounded by W. Florissant on the north; Grand on the east; Natural Bridge on the south, and the City limits on the west.
- Walnut Park East
- Walnut Park West
- Mark Twain
- Mark Twain I-70 Industrial
- Penrose
- O'Fallon Park (portion south of W Florissant)
- Fairgrounds Park
- Hyde Park (portion west of N Florissant)

Region 3 South: bounded by Highway 40 & Wabash R.R. (MetroLink right-of-way) on the north; Grand on the east; Meramec & Chippewa on the south, and Macklind, Arsenal, & Kingshighway on the west.

- Central West End (portion south of MetroLink - few people live there)
- Forest Park Southeast
- Kings Oak
- McRee Town
- Tiffany
- Shaw
- The Hill (portion east of Macklind)
- Southwest Garden (portion east of Macklind and north of Arsenal)
- Tower Grove South
- Dutchtown (portion north of Meramec and west of Grand only)

Many of these neighborhoods' associations and churches are active SLACO members, including the Kingshighway-Union-Bircher-Euclid Neighborhood Association (KUBENA), Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association (SNIA), and Tower Grove Heights Neighborhood Association (TGHNA).

So I'm surprised nobody caught this potential conflict sooner.

But, again, we all lead very busy lives.

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