Friday, Sep. 4, 2015    Login | Register           

Redistricting on 2-month hold

Redrawing Fayette County schools’ attendance zones has been put on hold, pending an unspecified property deal now being negotiated, according to Superintendent Jeff Bearden.

The delay left about 300 parents and students in attendance at the Oct. 15 meeting of the Board of Education without immediate answers.

Bearden’s recommendation for a delay of a “couple of months” followed an executive session near the beginning of the Board of Education meeting Monday night.

But the board’s approval of the recommendation did not dissuade more than 40 of the nearly 300 parents and students, largely from Peachtree City, from speaking in public comments and objecting to the potential of having children attend middle and high schools outside the city.

Bearden said that due to a potential property deal that had surfaced and might impact redistricting he was recommending that the work of the redistricting committee be put on hold.

Bearden said it could take a couple of months to determine if the property deal would be finalized. Bearden kept his remarks brief and did not identify the property under consideration.

There was no public explanation of how the property deal could affect drawing new attendance zone lines.

The school board unanimously approved the recommendation to have the redistricting committee “take time out from redistricting until it can be determined if the transaction will take place.” If the transaction takes place it could impact current redistricting efforts, Bearden said, adding that if it does not go through, the committee can pick up where it left off.

“It’s not prudent to continue to work until we know the outcome,” said Bearden.

The board decision also puts the work of the repurposing committee on hold.

The redistricting committee was formed during the summer to develop and recommend student attendance boundaries based on the two options identified by the school board. Option 1 included the potential closure of Hood Avenue Primary and Fayetteville Intermediate along with Fayette Middle, while option 2 dealt with the potential closure of Brooks and Tyrone elementary and Fayette Middle schools.

There has been some public speculation that schools closed in Fayetteville could be repurposed for other educational or even commercial uses. The property deal might fit into that scenario.

Also at the meeting, redistricting committee chair Mike Smith and repurposing committee chair Chris Horton gave brief reports on the current status of committee efforts.

The vote to put the work of the redistricting committee on hold notwithstanding, the large overflow audience at the meeting included a significant presence of Peachtree City parents and students. More than 40 signed up to speak during public comments.

Some said they had heard that the proposed redistricting plans included transferring some students to other middle and high schools other than Booth Middle and McIntosh High. Their comments included their opposition to those potential decisions.

Nearly all spoke with heartfelt concern over the idea of having their children be required to leave the community that they hold in high regard. The school students speaking during public comments echoed that sentiment.

Using a different approach, one speaker said she believed that requiring students to attend Flat Rock Middle School or Sandy Creek High School near Tyrone would “marginalize our children” while another said that transferring students to different schools would put them in a high-risk category for future psychological problems.

Though Monday night’s audience was a much larger group than those in previous meetings where parents and children from Tyrone and Brooks attended to plead their case for keeping their schools open, the sentiment and the rationale was essentially the same. Many understand the fiscal plight facing the school board and some acknowledged that action must be taken, but no one wanted their school to close or their students to be moved.

Despite being put on hold, the work of the redistricting committee is expected to resume once the outcome of the property transaction has been determined. The work parameters of the redistricting committee include:

• Serving as a voluntary advisory committee that will work with the superintendent and his staff creating attendance boundaries options for board consideration.

• Looking at the entire system during the redistricting process and make recommended changes that the committee believes will lead to greater efficiencies.

• Working to protect the integrity of neighborhoods and subdivisions.

• Using the “cluster” model in attempt to develop logical feeder patterns.

• Keeping in mind the distance students may have to travel to get to and from school.

The efforts of the repurposing committee is also expected to resume and will involve looking at other potential uses for the schools up for potential closure under options 1 and 2.

Location: 

Comments

"one speaker said she believed that requiring students to attend Flat Rock Middle School or Sandy Creek High School near Tyrone would “marginalize our children” while another said that transferring students to different schools would put them in a high-risk category for future psychological problems."

Really???

Bearden must be so happy - he will be loooooooonnnnnnggggg gone when this heats up again. Smart to put it off.

NUK_1's picture

He has a future in Congress.

You should listen to the podcast. Many people showed their true colors, not only by wearing green but by what came out of their mouths.

The quality of education will be marginalized. I moved to a district where my kids will attend McIntosh for a reason.

Why don't you investigate the percentage of property taxes paid by the people of Peachtree City versus the rest of the county? There is a reason our property values have remained higher than the rest.

""Keeping in mind the distance students may have to travel to get to and from school."""

Really? Maybe we should buy the BOE a Map,
Fayette County's TOTAL Area (land and water) is 199.25 Square Miles
Compared with the ever popular 445.98 Sq Miles of Coweta
Pre McIntosh EVERYONE who attend Government School had to find their way to Fayette Co High, oh and the roads where mostly dirt out in the county, and cars back then weren't all that reliable compared with today's, Ditto with Buses,
Let's have an Adult conversation, from the BoE, they might find Adults far more receptive if they do

I really feel it is foolish to place the redistricting plan on hold due to a potential property transaction. We need to be prepared for all possibilities. If this transaction comes to fruition, then we just need to adapt to this fork in the road. These decision-making delays are part of the reason we are in this crunch.

I really feel sorry for the children whose parents believe that Little Johnny is going to have psychological problems because he has to attend a different School. If these kids have problems it's because the parents dIdnt teach little Johnny that sometimes there are changes in life and you have to adapt. They may need to change schools but look at the new friends or experiences they will encounter.

People, it's our own fault we elected a board that failed to make wise and timely decisions. Let's not make another one.

Adapt or die

I believe the deal is selling the current Board Office to the cemetery that is run by the Holiday/Dorsey foundation (I think that is who manages the cemetery). Not sure why that has to be kept a secret.

If that is what the plan is, then which option would be off of the table do you think?

We live in a cross-section of the county which has been dictated to, bullied and left out of the equation due to Peachtree City whining and crying! Man-up, we have been tossed around like eggs because Peachtree City thinks that their kids live in a different county! We all live in Fayette County. To continue to think that you can not come out of Peachtree City to attend school isludicrous. FYI - you are attending out of the city. Those of you who are currently at Bennett's Mill are actually, guess what? in the "City of Fayetteville"! It is ridiculous for this to continue, we are 2 miles from McIntosh and 4 miles to Sandy Creek. Which makes more sense? Exactly! This process is not going to be easy for anyone, but we as a county, have to do what is best for the fiscal responsibility of our future!

Maybe if all the special permission cases were revoked there would be room for MHS kids at MHS??? Expecially the out of county kids. That's just wrong, don't you think?

Sure, PTC parents whine and cry, but it's easy to understand why. The majority of the tax dollars come from PTC, but the people who control the money and the boundary lines live in an area of the county (not PTC)that was miraculously unaffected by the decisions made 6 years ago and will be unaffected now. My house is also 2 miles closer to our current high school than to our proposed high school, but my neighborhood is on the table for redistricting, just like it was last time and the time before that. I guess that's ok for me, but not for you?

[quote=mother hen]Sure, PTC parents whine and cry, but it's easy to understand why. The majority of the tax dollars come from PTC, but the people who control the money and the boundary lines live in an area of the county (not PTC)that was miraculously unaffected by the decisions made 6 years ago and will be unaffected now. My house is also 2 miles closer to our current high school than to our proposed high school, but my neighborhood is on the table for redistricting, just like it was last time and the time before that. I guess that's ok for me, but not for you?[/quote]

I'm not saying that you are wrong, but where did you see that the "majority of the tax dollars comes from PTC?" There are many people who live in other parts of the county that might beg to differ. Please post the link. Thanks!

We live in a cross-section of the county which has been dictated to, bullied and left out of the equation due to Peachtree City whining and crying! Man-up, we have been tossed around like eggs because Peachtree City thinks that their kids live in a different county! We all live in Fayette County. To continue to think that you can not come out of Peachtree City to attend school isludicrous. FYI - you are attending out of the city. Those of you who are currently at Bennett's Mill are actually, guess what? in the "City of Fayetteville"! It is ridiculous for this to continue, we are 2 miles from McIntosh and 4 miles to Sandy Creek. Which makes more sense? Exactly! This process is not going to be easy for anyone, but we as a county, have to do what is best for the fiscal responsibility of our future!

We live in a cross-section of the county which has been dictated to, bullied and left out of the equation due to Peachtree City whining and crying! Man-up, we have been tossed around like eggs because Peachtree City thinks that their kids live in a different county! We all live in Fayette County. To continue to think that you can not come out of Peachtree City to attend school isludicrous. FYI - you are attending out of the city. Those of you who are currently at Bennett's Mill are actually, guess what? in the "City of Fayetteville"! It is ridiculous for this to continue, we are 2 miles from McIntosh and 4 miles to Sandy Creek. Which makes more sense? Exactly! This process is not going to be easy for anyone, but we as a county, have to do what is best for the fiscal responsibility of our future!

duplicate

The real problem is that the schools do not offer the same opportunities. The school board needs to fix this problem. All students in fayette county should have the same opportunities. Until that happens parents are going to want their children to go to the school that is going to give their children the most opportunities. You really can't blame them for that. The people to blame are the ones who haven't made sure the schools are the same. The question that the school board needs to be asked is : Why doesn't Sandy Creek have the things that Mcintosh does and how are you going to go about making sure they do?

It is not the school it is who attends the school. The schools that have higher income families tend to have more parental participation and better prepared students. I went to a great high school that had a big influx of lower income students towards the end of my freshman year. Sorry to say the school quality suffered because the you had more students that needed extra help and did not have the parental support which brought down the other students. Not all these students but enough to affect the quality of the classes. I was fortunate that I had some great teachers who allowed me to do independent study(at home or in the library) or read books during the more boring parts of class. I know the way schools are now the teachers do not have that kind of leeway to keep the high performing students from hours of total boredom. The families matter..engaged parents and well-prepared students are a big part of a high performing school no matter how many tax dollars you pour into it.

You were most fortunate to have the winning combination of good teachers AND parents! On paper, each classroom teacher and/or school should offer differentiated instruction to all students. Hard to accomplish. Good/bad parents come in all income brackets. Some of the charter schools in low income areas have a 'parent contract' that the parent must sign and follow in order for the child to remain in the school. ( the parent must provide time and space for homework; volunteer in some way to assist the teacher, etc.). You are so correct about 'families' and 'good' schools. Parent support is an important key to consider when selecting a school/school community.

Please explain how the schools of FC do not offer the same opportunities. What, exactly, does MHS have that SCHS does not have that is denying students opportunities? The basic academic classes needed to graduate are offered at all schools. Both schools have high caliber teachers, administrators and staff. What, exactly, do you mean?

Don't these parents realize that if their child is redistricted to Sandy Creek then they will have a better football team to cheer for? Isn't football king here in the south??? :-)

While I am not certain if this is still the case, in prior years Mac offered a greater variety of foreign language and AP options for high-achieving students. College admissions committees do not consider all Fayette schools to be equal with respect to academic rigor. Obviously that is not the primary concern for the majority of residents; statistically only a small percentage of the snowflakes in the county are truly equipped for that kind of a curriculum. But it is a valid concern - at least it was a few years ago.

To answer your question, and just as one example, MHS offers more AP classes than SCHS with students actually taking the AP exams at the end of the courses.

College preparedness is highter at MHS as compared to SCHS with SCHS having 15% of the student population in remedial education as compared to .6% at MHS.

6th grade achievement at Flat Rock is at 66.32% compared to Booth at 89.2% and falling under the district as a whole (at 78.85%).

For more information with respect to these statistics and others, please visit the governor's website at: http://gaosa.org/FindASchool.aspx?TabRequested=District&FromSection=repo...

You can staff schools with the best teachers, offer the highest level classes and programs, but students must take advantage of them. The family unit is the driving force behind taking advantage of educational opportunities and being successful in life. You can not chastise MHS or Booth for being more successful. It seems counter productive to level the playing field and make all of our schools mediocre as some on this post have suggested. The schools lagging behind in our district do not need people making excuses for them. What they need to do is create a solid plan to improve parent involvement and then their academic programs and stats will improve.

is that you think every school can be identical. AP class offerings are based in part by the number of kids asking for them, and in part by the number of people qualified to teach AP. here at my school we have collapsed AP classes with qualifed teachers becasue there were not the state mandated 15 students to fill the class. We have also had sections collapse because we did not have enough AP teachers to teach all the sections. How many people in this county do you think are qualifed to teach AP Psyche? or Physics? or Econ? You cant tell a teacher they have to go to another school just to even things out. Even if you did, the classes might collapse for other reasons anyway. Do you realize that MHS is the oldest HS in the county? SMHS facilities are much newer, so are WHS. WHS has all the WiFi stuff, not PTC schools. There is always going to be a subtle difference between schools. Your thinly veiled insinuation that PTC kids get all the good stuff is just dumb and uninformed.

I'm a PTC parent so I'm not saying that only PTC gets all the good stuff. So tell me at your school what does a student do if they want to take AP classes that aren't offered there? Are they supposed to just live with it or do they have to somehow go to another High School to attend that class? Years ago it may not have been a big deal. However now most colleges want students that have taken a number of AP classes and the number they want keeps going up.

A student who wants to and is qualified to take AP classes and they're not offered in their school doesn't have to do anything. That's why they have parents--to make decisions and make things happen for them that are out of their control! Many yrs ago, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to move my Daughter out of FC High and got that permission from the BOE to allow her to attend McIntosh, as long as I was responsible for transporting. She responded by doing well academically and was elected Homecoming Queen at McIntosh her first yr there! She went on to graduate and in the summer after graduation, attended Cambridge U. (UK) for 2 English courses, with the summer program of Flagler College in St Augustine, Fl. But WE have to be involved in making decisions and doing things that the kids can't.

I wish all students parents were as involved. It would be great if the BOE would allow all students to change their high school if they are qualified for AP classes and those classes weren't offered at the high school they attend. Hopefully they do because that is one of the major issues with the redistricting. People want to be sure thier children can take all the AP classes that they are qualified for regardless of where they go to school.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Charge them more if they don't have responsible and involved parents like Athomegym. Say we charge the single parents $2k extra and the ones living with Grandma $3k extra and we use the money to hire you and me and Gym and others like us as mentors to get them to understand how important it is to get through school.

Sound like a plan?

Live free or die!

hutch866's picture

[quote=renault314] Do you realize that MHS is the oldest HS in the county? [/quote]
Really? How long did you say you've been in this county?

I yam what I yam

Ummm You do know that Fayette Co, existed prior to 1982 when McIntosh was opened,,in fact back in 1977 BEFORE there was a red light at 54/74 there was a Fayette Co High School, and FWIW, the land off "walt banks rd" (little un-named dirt path) in 1977 was really good squirrel hunting land ,, and the deer weren't bad either......

Dang just gotta love Transplants that think THEY are the reason there's a Fayette County........

Im not a transplant. I actually graduated from Fayette Co. myself. And I am fully aware that FCHS was the first high school opened in the county. BUT, as you point out, MHS was opened in '82, and FCHS moved to its NEW BUILDING in what? '99? WHICH WOULD MAKE MHS THE OLDEST HS IN THE COUNTY! I wrote that as a response to the guy who was implying that PTC kids get preferential treatment and get the best of everything. I was trying to point out that they in fact have the oldest HS school building. I even specifically stated that other areas in the county have newer "facilities." Sorry if I was too subtle for you guys, but the fact that FCHS was technically founded first is irrelevant to this conversation if they DONT USE THEIR ORIGINAL BUILDINGS ANYMORE. Sorry for the all caps but you guys didnt seem to pick up on the point the first time around. You two were in such a hurry to point out how wrong I am you apparently didnt actually read the comment and ended up making yourselves look silly.

: )
Ok your teaching abilities are in no way questionable : )

As only an Ahole TEACHER would be that picky !! lol : )

oh and I aint apologizing for the emphasizing caps....
and as to looking sily, Dude, ,,,good guess

hutch866's picture

Isn't it amazing what the addition of one word can do to the clarity of a sentence? "I was trying to point out that they in fact have the oldest HS school building." What you call subtle I call vague. Lord help your students.

I yam what I yam

is that if there is something that is "vague" or subtle, they ask questions for clarification. You, on the other hand, dont ask questions, you just acuse me of being wrong in your most sarcastic, smarta$$ manner. If you had read more carefully, you would see that I specifically stated that other school had newer facilities. What is vague about that exactly? Or perhaps you were just so quick to make fun of me you didnt bother to read it.

hutch866's picture

Believe me, as some others here can attest to, this was far from my most sarcastic or smart ass manner. The fact is, as you wrote it, you were wrong. Like I said, amazing how one word affects the clarity of a sentence. I will admit though, I didn't know you were so sensitive.

I yam what I yam

but thats really nothing to brag about. I'm not sensitive, I just dont appreciate it when you tell me I'm wrong when I'm not, and then when I point out that I was not wrong, that you just didnt bother to read carefully, you question my professional abilities. I said, quite clearly, that the students at MHS have the oldest high school in the county. Now, if you misinterpreted that in your zeal to point out how wrong I was, thats your fault, not mine. But, the truth is, that statement is true. No one was talking about when the schools were founded. My statement was about the quality of facilities, which I also clearly stated. Additionaly, the comment that I was responding too was about quality of facilities. You just didnt bother to read before you snapped off your remark half-cocked, trying to make me look dumb and show everyone else how smart you are. But, you failed. Quall made the same mistake, but has since realized ha jumped the gun. Now, if you're one of those people who cant admit that they made a mistake, thats cool. But it sounds like you're the one who's sensitive, not me.

Renault314 - The last sentence of your response to me was:

"Your thinly veiled insinuation that PTC kids get all the good stuff is just dumb and uninformed."

So basically you called me dumb. However I decided to ignore it and instead explain my original comment. How about we all try to just explain our opinions and not insult each other in the process?

Veritas's picture

Hutch you are both correct in your facts and Renault you did leave yourself open with your ambiguous statements. But if you want to get off the main point and nitpick. Renault you are incorrect in that ALL of Fayette and PTC high schools and middle schools have the “WIFI stuff” and Booth ,In PTC, was one of the pilot schools.

about the WiFi stuff. But I still dont see how saying that MHS is the oldest HS when I was specifically talking about facilities is an ambiguous statement. Even so, you somehow manage to correct someone without coming off like a pompous, know-it-all snot. I dont think its too much that i expect the same from Hutch. Even if I was wrong (I wasnt) there are certain ways you talk to people you dont know. He needs to learn that.

hutch866's picture

For Pete's sake, get over yourself. You're the one getting all personal with the insults. But you win, I'd hate to tangle with anyone as right as you. God, I'm positively shaking in my boots.

I yam what I yam

I suppose youre going to tell me that questioning my ability as a teacher for daring to suggest that MHS is the oldest high school in the county isint a personal insult? Whatever dude. You started this ball rolling. Now youre trying to back out with your faux mea culpa and make it look like I'm the bad guy for hurling insults. The funny thing is, all you do is find tiny little nitpicky things that you think can make the other guy look bad and then jump on it. Is that your schtick? None of the posts you put up demonstrated that I was wrong, you just hinted once that I was vague. Say what you like, the people reading this thread can decide for themselves. How about arguing aginst ideas for a change, istead of just trying ways to make yourself big by making others look foolish?

24 years next month. The NEW FCHS building opened in the late 90's....oops. forgot about that huh?

Dr. Bearden and Board:

Are you kidding? Are you really going to keep us in suspense of what will happen with our school system another few months? This talk has been going on for far too long and it would be nice to know something at some point so that we can plan for our future....more importantly, our children's future.

The schools have always made Fayette County a great and desirable place to live. I did not grow up here, but always thought of Fayette County as "the place to live." I'm not so sure I feel the same any longer and the state of the school system is one of the reasons (among others).

We moved here in 2006 specifically for the school system. Our daughter completed kindergarten in another county and started 1st grade at East Fayette. After her first year, East Fayette closed and she was moved to Inman. We have no complaints with that. Inman was a good school in our opinion and she did well there. This means that she attended three different schools just to complete elementary school.

With all the talk of Fayette Middle closing down we decided to be proactive and asked under GA law that she have permission to attend Whitewater middle for the start of 6th grade (this is certainly where she will be districted when Fayette middle closes). We didn't want her changing schools more than once for middle school. She was denied. Whitewater middle is only operating at approximately 70 something % capacity currently so we were upset with the decision not to allow more kids into the school (including our daughter, obviously). Now, without a doubt, she will attend two different middle schools to finish out her middle level education. That puts her tally at five different schools so far.

If the county leaves her alone in high school for all four years, she will have attended five different Fayette County schools (and six total schools) just to finish her education in our county....all while living in the same house the entire time! This was not our idea of the school system or education we wanted to give our daughter when we moved here.

We wanted our daughter in Fayette County schools to get a quality education and experience school the way we did. We went to elementary, middle, and high school with most of the same kids throughout our education. We had pride in our mascots, teams, schools, etc. because that is where "we belonged." I'm not worried that she'll have "psychological" issue as others have said from switching schools, but she doesn't have a sense of community or pride in her schools and it's only natural for a child to feel nervous about a new school every few years.

We have younger children who still have to enter the school system. We're contemplating selling our home and moving further south to an area where Friday night football is the life of the town and most of the kids know each other from kindergarten to 12th grade, all while getting a quality education. Fayette County used to be this way and we thought that's what we were getting.

The lack of information, planning, and consideration for the parents and children is really getting old. Townhall meetings are useless if they really don't say anything new. So far, everything that's been said is everything we've known all along.

Please please please take the time to make some decisions that will inform the community.

We won't know the new redistricting deal until after Teri Smith's election. Isn't that all you need to know.

While the redistricting is on a 2 month hold, Fayette County parents now need to take an interest in what is next on the agenda. The BOE is now having discussions on letting out of county kids come into our schools for a fee. They will vote on it next month. They must be grasping at straws in desperation to come up with some more money. This is a horrible idea for many reasons. The major problem is that they need to get the HUNDREDS of out of county kids that are here illegally, out first. If the way this has been handled in the past is any indication, it will be a disaster. Additionally, it costs us approximately $8000 a year to educate a student. We get $4000 from the state. Simple math says if they paid $4000 per student, we would break even. I would love to see the figure the BOE comes up with for this enrollment fee.Then you have to consider the additional administrative costs to keep up with this program and to collect the money and kick out the ones who do not pay. BOE says they will collect money up front, but guess what? That is what they said about making the out of county kids pay when they get caught and now they allow them a payment plan. Then there are the ones who do not pay and threaten lawsuits when they are billed. I could go on and on. Please pay attention to this important issue and stay involved with it.

madmom

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Charging the out of county kids a tuition is a great idea for the Dems who remain in charge of our school system. Yes, Dems are actually in charge, as surprising as that is. How? We all know that all atheists are Dems, as are all union members (aka teachers), administrators (former union members) and of course everyone from Maine. All Dems.
Yes, we all know the teachers union does not have collective bargaining rights, we have heard that before. So here is the plan -

Coming up with an annual fee for out of county students is a brilliant plan. Set a fee of say, $6,000 (don't forget we'll get $4k from the state per student) and develop a procedure to process the new students into our system and also have a procedure that gets the hundreds of currently-enrolled stealth students out of the closet, so to speak. In the traditional Dem's way of doing things, when developing a policy, they will develop exceptions and waivers for the "less-fortunate" and this will be tuition waiver for kids of union members, kids who have single parents and kids who have parents below a certain income level. This way they can say we are a county of inclusion, but we have a tuition schedule that they will publicize and quietly ignore if it suits their purpose.

The beauty of this Dem plan is it also diverts students who might be otherwise home-schooled and parents who might be tempted to start a charter school. A twofer putdown of sensible Republican ideas.

Now you know why Terri Smith decided to run as a Democrat. Lot's of votes from the teachers who like this plan.

And another thought about how Dems run things, maybe they instructed Ms. Arlene Law to overlook the Clayton and Fulton students attending our schools because they could collect $4,000 per student from the state. In the Dem's world, this is found money. The fact that it costs twice that to educate those kids is an operational detail that is handled by someone else. Seems plausible.

Live free or die!

[quote]We all know that all atheists are Dems, as are all union members (aka teachers), administrators (former union members) and of course everyone from Maine. All Dems.[/quote]

This intelligent statement was made at 12:42p.m. Was the author drunk, or pathetically misinformed?

rolling stone's picture

[quote]This intelligent statement was made at 12:42p.m. Was the author drunk, or pathetically misinformed?[/quote]

12:42 PM does seem rather early to be pathetically misinformed.

S. Lindsey's picture

....Obviously not.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Pages

Ad space area 4 internal

Government

The qualifying period for municipals elections is complete. With that, the November election will see contested races in Peachtree City, Tyrone, Senoia, Fayetteville and Sharpsburg.

Sponsored Content

Opinion

In her book, “Kitchen Table Wisdom,” Dr. Rachel Remen tells the true account of a father and son who used to go mountain climbing together. Once they began their ascent, all conversation ceased.