Dear Tim…

An email I am considering sending to my daughter’s school superintendent…

Dear Tim,
Ok…you know I should really take my own advice and not write an email while being upset, but…I figure why not let one fly tonight…I have hit “reply all” because there might be at least one(members of SPAC) among you who share my feelings. Sorry for any sloppy mistakes, but I will let this fly so I have time to give my girls an apology kiss goodnight for sending them into a toxic environment.

After being canceled many times, I would like to once again push you to come up with a date for a Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee meeting…I had to get up and walk out of the PTO meeting tonight after learning that anything I said would not matter in regards to the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and supports (PBIS) and I am hoping that SPAC meetings will continue so that the member will find a place for their voices to be heard.  I was excited to be asked to sit on the comitte, but getting frustrated that there were only two meetings this year and hope that another is in the near future.

On the BCS website Mr. XYZ (admin) states:
Parents, teachers and students share responsibility for the learning process, and therefore are partners in the decision making process. After being told in an email from one admin that parent cannot stay in the school for more than 45 minutes with disrupting the educational process, and being told tonight that parents will have no say in PBIS I am very dismayed and saddened at the current atmosphere at BCS.

I am tired of candy coated admin speeches that are meant to hide the truth. I have sat through Board of Education Meeting, Open Houses, and Parent Conferences and have to over and over again hear the staff hide the truth because they assume they can talk over the heads of parents. After having my words be dismissed by first year teachers and admins who do not have my expertise and experience in classroom teaching I have come to my wits end. I do not know everything, but after two decades of teaching and researching I can draw on valuable empirical and research based evidence in which to rely on for my opinions. I have been trained for the last 14 years in assessing units of study, one of the 40 or so teachers in the state who decide on whether social studies teachers can pass on and receive their teaching certificate, and have been a mentor teacher to over 16 people. I have presented at conferences locally, regionally, and national conferences. I have taught in schools full of kids who were coming or going to jail, and classes that had kids who were destined to Yale. I have raised kids who went to school, and who have spent years at home in an unschooling environment. While people who don’t know me might say I wrote that partial 😉 list to feed my ego, I simply offer it so that you might imagine how I feel as I sit and am told over and over again that my opinion does not matter, especially since three of the four admins have never even been classroom teachers.

I need to know if the SPAC will be a viable group. Otherwise I feel as though I need to use my training and expertise in teaching to truly expose what is going on in BCS. There are things being done that if my student teacher tried to do I would fail her. I am truly embarrassed to be a BCS parent after tonight’s meeting. I hope that some hope can be restored by believing that SPAC has a chance to be a group in which the parents advise the superintendent, and not one which we sit and get advised by the superintendent. Mrs. XYZ once said, “Possessing a genuine interest and taking part in your child’s school community is imperative to his development.” I hope that my involvement can be more than just picking up the empty pieces of my children each night after they come home depleted of hope each day.

If our voices, as parents and the ones who know our children best, are not valued is hard to imagine that children are truly valued.

Thank you,
Paul

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