Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Impassioned pleas - heard?

Two parents made impassioned pleas last night before the Woodstock District 200 School Board.

Did the Board hear them?

Both asked the school board not to can good aides from the special education classrooms of their children. Both had been told that the union makes the decisions.

I think not. Or, if it does, then the Board - and the parents - had better regain control over our school staffing.

With certain children in our schools (groups, I mean; not individual children), change is very difficult. During a school year they get used to a certain teacher or aide and they then settle into the school groove. When the District tosses out an aide or teacher, just because she is low person on the totem pole, this does not serve this student population.

One parent said that seniority shouldn't trump merit. And he's right. The school district has to be able to cleanse itself of "dead wood". When a teacher is just "running on empty", hanging on my her fingernails to retirement date, the District, in the best interests of its students (and other staff), must take action to send that teacher on her way.

Some teachers are happy, positive and fresh right up until the day they retire.

The parents of the children in Special Education must come together. A Parent Advisory Council may be a step toward a solution.

Plans are underway for an organizational meeting. Half the parents who responded to the recent survey favor meetings during the summer. Watch for upcoming news. Hopefully, fliers will go home to parents of all Special Education students in District 200 and that many will show up at early meetings.

You don't have to attend all meetings, and there will be many ways to participate, including meetings, email, perhaps teleconference and even webinars. It's the Space Age, folks.

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