Teacher Truancy, 2018 Version
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Money Don’t Buy You Learning
By John R. Butcher
December 22, 2020 by cranky
It’s December. The Generous Assembly is about to return and the demands for more education funding [see Executive Summary at p.4] resound throughout the Commonwealth.
The data would suggest that these demands are misplaced.
VDOE won’t post the 2020 expenditure data until sometime this Spring and there were no 2020 SOLs, so we’ll use the 2019 expenditure and SOL data. The expenditure numbers below are the those for “day school operation” (the sum of Administration, Instruction, Attendance and Health Services, Pupil Transportation, and O&M spending). Student counts are the year-end average daily membership.
One wrinkle: Statewide, “economically disadvantaged” (here, “ED”) students underperform their more affluent peers (“Not ED”) by some 17 to 22 points, depending on the subject. Thus the division average pass rates depend both on student performance and the relative numbers of ED and Not ED students. We’ll avoid that issue here by looking at the rates for both groups.
Here, then, are the division average reading pass rates for the two groups plotted v. the division day school expenditure per student.
Richmond is the enlarged points with yellow fill. The red-filled points are, from the left, the peer cities Hampton, Norfolk, and Newport News.
The fitted lines suggest that performance of the Not ED students increases slightly with expenditure (about 2% per $10,000) while the ED scores decrease (ca. 4% per $10,000). The R-squared values, however, tell us there is only a minuscule correlation between the pass rates and the expenditures.
We can get a clearer view of the data for Richmond and the peer cities by expanding the axis to hide the Very Big Spenders.
Need I say it? Richmond is spending well above average money and obtaining lousy results for both groups of students.
The math data tell the same story: More Money doesn’t correlate with more learning and the Richmond pass rates are awful.
As a pleasant contrast to that bad news, the (locally created and run) Comprehensive Instructional Plan has produced remarkable gains in the Southwest:
They’ve told us how they achieved this:
- Identify the good teachers,
- Share their materials and techniques,
- Measure what works,
- Focus on core skills,
- Set high expectations,
- Bond with the students, and
- Use the feckless VDOE only for what it actually can do well: crunch numbers.
While the Generous Assembly is in town perhaps they will consider taking the school improvement budget that is wasted at VDOE and giving it to the CIP, where they know how to get results.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
The following is to be read as a Cautionary Tale for Grown-Ups. It is about people who truly believe they mean well, but who are filled with a spirit of moral righteousness and rigidity. The tale, written by Northside parent, Jeannie Bowker, details the dangers of group think and trial by a madding crowd unable to hear or even tolerate a dissenting voice. It is a sad story similar to William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ or George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm.’ But because it is based on fact, it reminds students of history of the crazed fervor of the Salem Witch Trials and the fever of Joseph McCarthy’s hunt for so-called Communists known as the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). I edited out one misstatement at Bowker’s request. Otherwise, it is exactly as Bowker wrote it. I am open to any and all dissenting voices in the hope that through open and fair dialogue, our neighborhood and our city can begin the process of hearing one another and of healing. For the sake of all our children. ~ Carol A.O. Wolf, editor
Who Are the Nice White Parents?
By Jeannie Bowker
Meanwhile…a white parent…harassed Black community members, and worked anonymously to have a Black educator fired…[This parent was] denounced by the PTA, and put our charter at risk with their dangerous behavior.
There’s a rift in the Northside, and the segregationists disguised as progressives have control.”
This is me, according to social media and a group of people I’ve never met who are convinced I am ripping their community apart.
All of those quotes are recent, but they actually have their genesis on this day one year ago when I was the subject of multiple, coordinated social media attacks.
This time last year, I was accused of being racist for days. The truth, however, has a lot more to do with a group of affluent white people using me as a punching bag to achieve their social and political aspirations.
It is an odd, unsettling and frankly, painful thing when people you do not know lie about you, repeatedly and in a public forum. When I achieve a random moment of perspective, I feel fortunate because many people have experienced far more horrific tales of being harmed on social media.
But there are times when I still grapple with the reality that the purveyors of cancel culture are not an abstraction for me anymore; they are, in a way, my neighbors. Walking down the street or through the halls of my kid’s school not knowing whether people are looking at me because we belong to the same community, or because of their contempt for something they don’t (or refuse) to understand, has redefined “home” for me.
Amazingly, the lies and mistruths are still happening, having found new life during the local 2020 elections. And that is what bothers me more than anything, because these lies continue to bury and obfuscate the voices of some of the most marginalized members of our community. Those peddling these false and misleading ideas have colonized a narrative that is not theirs to write.
When a small group of relatively affluent white members of the Northside community advance their own self-interest in the name of Black families by telling lies about me, they (and those who are listening to them) just aren’t getting it. To be sure, I don’t mean to say that everyone that supported pairing in the Northside was a part of this group or had ulterior motives beyond promoting a plan alleging to remedy school segregation.
A year later, this group continue to fail to center those they purport to care about in their conversations.
Instead, they continue to center themselves: the nice white parents.
It all started with pairing.
In the spring of 2019 Superintendent Jason Kamras and his Administration designed a Rezoning Advisory Commission (RAC) to rezone schools in Richmond, mostly out of a need to fill new schools for Fall 2020, but also to address utilization and other goals, including integration, where possible. Richmond Public Schools are highly segregated, a fact that is hard to avoid in a school district that is composed of approximately 10% white students and historically-rooted housing segregation.
Under his plan, the RAC was composed of two district residents appointed by each board member, several School Board members, and several members of the Administration. It was the job of the RAC, rather than the School Board, to solicit feedback, organize meetings, and develop proposals based on community feedback. However, the Administration appeared to have an outsized influence on the RAC, a result in part due to the fact that there were no procedural rules in place to ensure that each voice was fairly heard.
The RAC’s first plans, released right after school ended in June 2019, called for the pairing of Fox ES and Cary ES. Pairing is one way of many to integrate schools by combining, for example, a majority black school and a majority white school and hosting grades K-2 at one school and grades 3-5 at the other school.
These plans no doubt unleashed unsavory and racist comments. But many people also raised legitimate concerns about pairing. In general, the Superintendent’s approach was to dismiss concerns, however valid, as racist and obstructionist.
In framing a discussion about integration in such a tautology (pairing = integration = pairing, etc.), the Richmond community lost a chance to have a deep and full conversation about what equity, integration, and racial justice can look like in our schools. For sure, integration should always be pursued where possible, even in school districts where the white populations are in small, concentrated pockets. But again, white students are a minority in RPS.
The choice of the Administration and the RAC to narrow our city’s gaze to that 10% of the school’s population and how to use resources to move them around is a disservice to the other 90% of students and families and what they would like from RPS.
And white parents were encouraged by the Superintendent’s public stance and social media echo-chambers to accuse any other white parent who did not unconditionally accept the Superintendent’s plan as racist (that’s where I enter the scheme!). For what it’s worth, this is a pattern that has continued in many RPS policy debates, including the push for new curriculum during a pandemic.
On social media, concerns about pairing that were lumped in the categories of “racism,” “white fragility,” and “hoarding of resources,” included concerns about: (1) transportation when RPS does not pay bus drivers and has kids (btw: these aren’t the white kids) waiting for buses or riding in buses for hours in some parts of the city; (2) about building new bathrooms for new Kindergarten classes when the Superintendent had not finished his publicized “Bathroom Blitz”; and (3) the budget and the opportunity cost of pairing in a resource starved school district (e.g., instead of pairing, why not ensure every school has a nurse or an attendance officer?).
Undaunted by these and other concerns, new pairing proposals for other schools emerged from the RAC in August with additional pairing suggestions, including a three-way “pairing” between Holton ES, Ginter Park ES, and Barack Obama ES (a “tripling, really). It is worth noting here that though Holton ES does not reflect the demographics of Richmond as a whole, due to open enrollment Holton is the most diverse (e.g. integrated) school in the district, with a 55% black population and 45% white population (approximately, though projections from the GIS consultant do have white numbers at Holton increasing over time. )
My One Question That Was Never Answered: What Do the Families at Ginter Park and Obama ES Have to Say About Pairing?
I started going to meetings and seeing mostly white parents talk about integration. People from the majority Black schools that would be paired with Holton were generally not at the meetings.
And when my school board member, Kenya Gibson, pointed out how problematic this was, our Superintendent said, essentially, hey, white people, don’t use the fact that mostly white people are in this room as a reason to question the process. But why not? Who should be centered in integration discussions? Anyone listening to the “Nice White Parents” podcast knows the answer: not white people.
People keen on performative “wokeness” proclaim that when a Black woman speaks, you listen (as if Black women are a monolith incapable of diversity of thought). But when a Black, female school board member speaks and says the outreach by the Administration looks highly problematic and the very people who should be prioritized are not in this room, some white parents and our white Superintendent did not listen.
The bottom line is that predominantly Holton families should not have been the center of any conversation about integration in the Northside, and it appeared that others were very purposefully excluded from the conversation.
Again, the Administration claimed that they had performed sufficient outreach to all RPS communities, though it took a concerted community push to get them to perform Robo-Calls and distribute backpack mail about rezoning. I actually emailed the Office of Community Engagement a copy of a sample backpack mailer, and the Office thanked me for doing so and used it as a model for the flier that they developed (though I feel that certain information crucial to understanding the proposals were omitted, such as maps).
Furthermore, when a Holton parent went to Ginter Park to talk to people there and happened to talk to senior staff member at the school. The staff member asked for his help and in having the RAC hold a community meeting at the school. He brought this up at a rezoning meeting and this was dismissed by the RAC member and Administration members present at the meeting. I offered to help the RAC member organize a meeting at Ginter Park, but was told that it was under control. They never had a meeting. Going through what survey results were posted online from RPS’ feedback form, it is clear that Ginter Park ES families, and to a lesser extent Barack Obama ES families, were not sufficiently represented in the survey.
Still, I watched and tried – imperfectly, to be sure – to engage in what should have been a logical feedback process that was circumvented for months by a member of the RAC from the Third District. This member lives in a wealthy, white neighborhood that should have been rezoned to Ginter Park to cost-efficiently and easily remedy historic gerrymandering of the Holton school zone.
I nerded-out and watched this RAC process as closely as I could, and at meeting after meeting, I witnessed an almost willful and systematic effort to pair ALL of Northside (e.g. to integrate on their terms rather than terms that work for the Obama and Ginter Park communities) than to accept that the Ginter Park neighborhood should go to Ginter Park ES.
It would later become clear that our RAC member’s insistence on pairing, sadly, may have been a lot less about social justice and more about protecting their interests and the interest of their neighbors. At the final board meeting on December 16th at Ginter Park ES about 3rd district rezoning, a survey of the speakers that evening would reveal that the vast majority in favor of pairing were this member’s neighbors and/or lived in the neighborhood that had been gerrymandered and under any rational plan should have been attending Ginter Park ES.
Following this meeting, an email obtained in a FOIA request demonstrates this RAC member and her neighbors’ explicit concern about being rezoned to Ginter Park. In this light, it is exceedingly difficult not to consider the push for pairing as a way to ensure they would not be rezoned to Ginter Park.
Over and over again at meetings on September 26, October 3, October 11, October 17,and November 8, concerns raised regarding outreach in the Third District and the lack of a truly viable rezoning option to address utility and integration through a redrawing of lines rather than pairing was dismissed and ignored time and again. It was not until the December 2nd Board vote on rezoning that the School Board decided – by a majority – to develop and present a feasible, non-pairing plan for the 3rd district that could be put up for a vote on December 16.
So We Just Asked…
At this point, things in the Northside escalated to a vitriolic fever-pitch because the Northside’s vote was isolated to a lone meeting after the Board voted against pairing in the other parts of Richmond on December 2nd. Pairing advocates from across the city focused their gaze on having pairing passed in the Northside. They started an open, online petition in favor of pairing as inaccurate and poorly sampled evidence of a groundswell of support for pairing in the Third District, even though anyone could sign it.
As a result, my husband and I canvassed the Ginter Park and Barack Obama neighborhoods before the final vote on pairing for our district. I did so after talking with others who know a lot more about RPS than me who had huge concerns about how pairing would negatively impact students and families without the resources to absorb the change.
I created an informational flier about pairing, its pros and cons, a detailed map, and information about the last public hearing on pairing. I also had a petition against pairing if people wanted to sign to counter the Facebook petition started by the pairing advocates. Not everyone is on Facebook.
The facts: my husband and I did not harass. We did not say we preferred separate but equal. We did not say we do not want our kids going to school with Black or brown children.
What we did do: we talked to people and discovered a huge problem – a problem that Kenya Gibson had been pointing out the entire time. Most people did not know about pairing, despite assurances by the Administration that they did. Given how many people we reached in a few days, it was clear that with some authentic effort, the Administrative team could have easily informed almost every parent or caretaker impacted by the pairing proposal.
One of the most common initial comments we heard was “where is Holton?” Can you imagine living across the street from a school that generations of your family has attended and taught at and finding out at the start of the school year that your kid is going to have to ride a bus to a school you didn’t even know exists for 5th grade? Can you imagine having to absorb the transitional costs of this change without a car; without being able to afford the after-school day care that can manage those changes for you; or without the time and energy to give to two elementary communities?
I woke up on December 12 – 5 days before the final vote on pairing – to multiple accusations posted in different Facebook groups at the same time alleging that I was “showing up and asking people to sign a petition that says their little black kids won’t go to school with [my] children.”
I was accused of intimidating people, of being a micro aggressor, and of being nasty. People said that I went around saying I did not want my kids to go to school with Black and brown children. This went on for days from so many people that I did not know. I still do not know who these people are and no one has ever said anything about it to my face, but they still talk about me on social media.
Once a few people explained that there a was a system of political ambition and planning behind the attacks, I felt slightly better that these lies were not completely random and coming out of nowhere. But it is still shocking to me that this group of people would engage in such harmful and mean-spirited attacks based on lies in order to advance a political agenda and to pursue power.
At the end of the day, though, people from Ginter Park and Barack Obama showed up at the final meeting. Despite the assurances of the Administration and the Nice White Parents a that pairing was popular, some of the new faces at the meeting in fact opposed pairing.
A few Ginter Park parents had even organized signs against pairing to oppose the pro-pairing signs. I personally am still haunted by one Ginter Park staff member that spoke of living in the shadows of the louder, white neighborhoods to Ginter Park’s West and East and how equality and equity do not mean simply putting white bodies in black spaces to benefit white people.
At the end of the day, the Nice White Parents used inflammatory rhetoric to attempt to ram through an “integration” plan that suited their purposes. They centered their own interests and priorities in the name of other communities.
These same parents even mentioned the possibility of lawsuits if the School Board passed a viable option that emerged after the December 2nd meeting – Option 5 – that would have reduced the white population at Holton and addressed capacity issues without shifting resources to move a small amount of white students around the Northside to achieve “equity.”
I also cannot discount the entirely cynical, political motivations behind this desperate pursuit for an “integration” headline over a sustained focus on racial justice in RPS.
And again: Teacher Turnover at Holton
The next time I “caused harm to the Northside community” was in the early summer. Despite FOIA’s and a court order, the public does not have access to teacher turnover data, a part of the RPS Dreams 4 RPS Strategic Plan.
Allegedly, we cannot know if RPS is retaining quality teachers because UVA is calculating our retention data, and it takes years for them to make those calculations. Since I have been a Holton parent, long-time, well-loved teachers have been leaving the school, oftentimes at the last minute or in the middle of the school year. Many teachers had been pretty open that they are leaving because there is a leadership problem at the school.
Last spring however, three more long-time teachers left Holton, and they did not make it much of a secret why they were leaving: the leadership. I figured this was a bright-line, non-controversial moment in evaluating a principal’s leadership. Indeed, I had now heard enough from different people to believe that the Administration knew there were leadership issues at Holton and even tried to quietly remedy the problem with little success.
And yet, the Administration did nothing to acknowledge the teacher turnover at Holton and its causes.
Due to Covid-19 and to protect teacher identity, I set up an anonymous Google Form for teachers and families to share their feedback about the leadership at Holton. The purpose in doing so was to hopefully be able to hand the RPS administration probable cause to solicit broader feedback from the Holton community and finally address the apparent leadership issues at the school.
I did not do this on a whim. I talked to the teachers at Holton that left to get a sense of what was happening. Consistently, when I reached out to a teacher, they said, “are the parents finally organizing to stand up for us?”
I found that reaction heart-breaking, and it certainly made me more resolved to try and get some accountability from the Administration.
I wanted the Administration to acknowledge that they had been ignoring teachers and parents screaming up the RPS administrative hierarchy about the leadership issues at Holton. I felt a strong moral imperative to try and help teachers who really wanted an advocate. I collected more than 20 stories, and some of them are just heart-breaking. I have placed a few highlights of these stories in the endnotes. I have no idea what the situation is like at the school given all the disruptions caused by COVID-19. I sincerely hope that things have improved.
Superintendent Kamras never responded to my request for a virtual community meeting at Holton to discuss teacher turnover at the school.
What he did do, allegedly, was tell a local journalist that I am a privileged mom who did this with a racist viewpoint, when asked about the comments I collected.
I let the president of the Holton PTA know what I had emailed to the Administration to be transparent, and she eventually told me that the PTA’s silence about the leadership issues at Holton was complicity and that the “PTA board probably needs to more vocal about this.” She said she was going to ask another PTA governing member about it and get back to me. I did not know at the time that this other governing member was connected to the same group of folks that called me racist during rezoning: my mistake!
Before I knew it, I was receiving comments about me being a racist bigot harming the entire Northside community and people once again started entire social media threads calling me horrible, mean, privileged, and racist.
And the same PTA leader who three days earlier acknowledged the leadership problems at Holton emailed me and told me my hateful ways needed to stop, that I was violating the PTA’s bylaws (ironic, because they had actually expired), and might be kicked out of the PTA. She also emailed the entire PTA membership, denouncing my form, and saying that “this survey does not fairly represent ALL of our families and staff, in particular our black and brown families and BIPOC, and is, unfortunately, another instance of using privilege in a way that’s hurtful and divisive.”
The form was anonymous so there is no way to prove or disprove the President’s statement, but if one actually read the comments I collected, it is clear that I did receive feedback from a broad spectrum of the Holton community. I do have an issue with Nice White Parents calling me racist, again, in the name of Black and brown families without actually reading what I had gathered.
I know my Google Form was an imperfect survey because of my limited network and its virtual nature! But I was not going to publish my results in a peer-reviewed publication or, say, force an entire District to combine elementary schools: I just wanted that Administration to acknowledge a problem that is causing teachers to leave one of its schools.
I am so disappointed that teachers may have thought they finally had help in this struggle they have been fighting alone (and with constant fear of professional retribution), and instead they were left high and dry.
Conclusion: And again, the School Board Campaign
This summer and fall, I volunteered with the Kenya Gibson School Board campaign. I canvassed and loved talking to people across the community about their hopes and dreams for school: it was a breath of fresh air to talk to the Third District outside of this dogmatic group of Nice White Parents that seem to watch my every move, waiting to critique me as a racist George Wallace-esque bogeyman.
And of course, these Nice White Parents used their withering comments about me to attack Kenya Gibson saying that she “is proud to be supported by anti-integrationists.” They also created their own fake group, the Northside Parents Collective, to spread misinformation about Kenya Gibson and misrepresent the reasoning behind her votes. They do not seem to get that their relentless attacks on a Black, female elected official who is supported by the majority of the Third District harms the Northside Community. They harm the real Northside Community, not the imagined community that they think is just waiting for some white saviors to ride in with an integration plan to fix decades of white flight and public disinvestment in public education (or to just keep their kids from going to the “poor school” just down the street).
I know that in my own ways I am a Nice White Parent, too. I have tried to acknowledge that and use my privilege to lift up voices other than my own, and no doubt make mistakes along the way. And for that, I am trailed and will be trailed by a group of people that seem obsessed with calling me names on social media. This is the unfortunate outcome when our leaders do not approach social justice issues with full, transparent policy agendas aimed at building coalitions from the bottom-up rather than the top-down. In this new national discourse about social justice, it is imperative that white people eager to demonstrate their own anti-racism stop with their sanctimonious navel-gazing arms race. And it’s imperative that they do everything they can to elevate the voices that are left out—inadvertently or not—instead of speaking for them.
- “Re Fox-Cary pairing: The loudest feedback sounds eerily like Massive Resistance 2.0. BUT I've also received a lot of feedback from families of all backgrounds who welcome the idea. In fact, I believe they're the majority. I encourage them to share their perspective publicly.” Jason Kamras, Superintendent, Twitter, July 17, 2019
- https://www.facebook.com/69954263614/videos/394723044543251, around 56 minutesWell for one thing children I have 5. Which have been going to holton between 2 to 4 years me and my husband Mr [Redacted] have always engaged helped volunteer ect. When Mr hudson was a principal he was very helpful and understanding and so is Ms Jefferson. Last year we was in a shelter so we was in mckinney vento and we been with mckinney almost 2 years and the school and staff and teachers and parents understand. But --- now principal of holten elementary School do not she tells lies and makes promises she don't keep. When school was open and we was in the shelter my husband as to come pick the kids up early around 3pm she threaten to call child protective services on my husband stating we can't pick out children up early at the time we did not have transportation and daycare was not set up for tran from home just back and forth to school . There was a situation with my oldest son where a 5th grade boy showed his private part to my son I was not notified of this from Dr hurt when the incident happen his teacher called me and spoke to me letting me know she said something to doctor hurt no response. Ms Jefferson had called me about it. Then my 3 rd grader was involved in an incident where one of his friends was name calling or teasing she was going to suspend my son if I or dad did not come and sit in my son's classroom that whole day . The other children was in his class I did not see their parents at the school so I had to lose a day of work to keep my child from being suspended from school. I as a parent and RPS staff think that was very unfair and parents and teachers agree.
- I recently resigned and took a pay cut to leave the leadership of ---…who has fostered a completely toxic environment for staff. Problems were left unresolved, she will lie or not follow through, she is retaliatory, she is simply not present when needed. Many students DO NOT EVEN KNOW HER NAME/WHO SHE IS! She has dropped the ball on security, especially after the neighborhood shooting. She provided no in-house mentors to new teachers and then attacked them for asking how to improve or for making notes on what to do better. We should be building each other up, not tearing new teachers down. Plain and simple she is not the person who she claimed to be when she interviewed. I would like to have you contact Boaz Young-El, our representative for VEA. I have been holding meetings with staff as well as sent out a survey to staff members regarding all of this. I've met early in with Harry Hughes -NOTHING has improved.
- One of the first things that comes to mind is the lack of collaborative conversations. There have been some major changes made without any input from the staff (like the master schedule, the new dismissal process, safety measures, breakfast in the classroom, etc.) Often when a staff member brought up a concern or suggestion about these changes they were met with micro aggressions and told they were trying to “undermine their authority “. This has made it hard for people to feel comfortable voicing their opinion or helpful suggestions, and has changed the climate of the school from collaborative to authoritative. Some other huge concerns are the lack of support, lack of communication, and pushing off principal duties onto others. Many of my colleagues have voiced how they don’t feel supported by admin., and have often felt attacked by them instead. Some teachers have even chosen to switch to new schools/districts, or leave the profession entirely as a direct result from the way they were treated by our current admin. I have also strongly considered changing schools or districts, and if nothing positively changes with admin. in the next year I will leave.
- The students fear her rather than see her as a trusted adult. The faculty have shown their opinions of her leadership by leaving in droves. Even teachers who had spent over a decade teaching at Holton have left, not to mention good, new teachers who brought fresh ideas and life to the school. Teachers are not treated as professionals, and I believe many have been bullied ---. She has demonstrated time and again that she is unwilling to take responsibility for her own actions, (e.g., during the shooting, at the State of the School address), and instead places blame on teachers and staff – there is zero accountability, it is always the fault of a subordinate….
- I have many concerns about ---‘s lack of leadership at Holton Elementary. She is ineffective communicator, incompetent during emergencies, not visible at school/school events, not a good leader/team player, she bullies her teachers/staff and she has created a toxic work environment for Holton staff members.
- Holton used to be a really beautiful, upbeat environment where both children and educators could thrive. Everyone’s voice was important and everyone felt special and most importantly safe. There was a lot of smiling and a general happiness among all parties. --- has changed the atmosphere at Holton (almost immediately upon her arrival) to a place that has an almost palpable weight of stress and toxicity. People are unhappy...teachers/staff filled out a survey in the winter of 2019 and 100% of the completed surveys stated the staff was unhappy with the current administration.
- To begin, communication and her presence is absolutely abysmal. She rarely responds to email and phone messages and is nearly impossible to pin down in person. I could go days upon end without seeing her in the building - it seems she spent the large majority of her time in her office, with the door closed, whether she was alone or not….The amount of turnover in the building is astonishing and is not limited to one sector of staff - new teachers, long-time teachers, instructional assistants, custodians, and office staff are all leaving in higher numbers than ever before. She treats people with such little respect (seriously, PLEASE tell me you've heard from someone on the custodial staff about her insane demands and the way she treats them) and far from leading with love, she leads by simply putting people on improvement plans, threatening their job, moving them to new grade levels, and so on and so forth. I hope other staff and parents have mentioned the new pattern emerging of teachers leaving in the beginning/middle of the year - it is not a coincidence that two K teachers left in the fall of the school year, and it is entirely due to her leadership and the culture she has let drag our building down.
- The staff/teacher turnover at Holton appears to be increasing. In the last three years, Holton has lost 11 teachers, school psychologist, and 7 support staff/aides/cafeteria support. It would be an understatement to say that the strength of Holton as an institution has its foundation in the amazing staff and educators.
- Our family has been at Holton for 2 years. We found out that both her Kindergarten teacher and her 1st grade teachers (2 teachers team teaching) are not coming back next year. All of these teachers were beloved and veteran teachers at the school, who have been there for many years. RPS needs to look into why Holton is losing so many great teachers. There is something going on with the work environment at Holton that’s making teachers want to leave. RPS needs to examine why everyone is leaving, and what needs to be done to fix the teacher loss at the school.
- I’ve seen so many of my colleagues come from --- office crying. This almost has happened to each person that worked in the main office. I’ve witnessed favoritism and bullying all from this Administration. I've watched--- run to hide from parents as she simply think that everything should be scheduled in regards to dealing with kids. I’ve watched this Administration overdose kids as the nurse is not trained to handle certain children with ailments. Please take your time to notate these concerns. Some employees look great on paper but cannot perform job duties…. Please listen to other staff and Parents in regards to this matter.