It begins with the Superintendent's letter. Here we find Dr. Nyland's explanation and weird half-truth style apology for signing the Gates grant prior to Board approval.
"My early signature was obviously not appropriate policy or practice. I apologize. What I know now, but did not know then, is that we have a routing form for all contracts which require multiple signatures by different departments – ending with the superintendent. That did not occur in this case."Artful use of passive voice. He apologized for the outcome without apologizing for the real failure: he doesn't know the policies - even though he should. He has seen them played out and he should have read them.
The memo from Ken Gotsch is devoid of critical information and chock-a-block with passive voice. He never mentions who sent Dr. Nyland the contract to sign or what Dr. Nyland did with it after he signed it. The memo contains no material information at all. The whole problem has been conveniently swept under the rug. It's a mystery!
He offers equally namby-pamby responses to other issues "Teaching and Learning did send a memo to schools asking them to do something during November to recognize Native Heritage month."
He did not offer any explanation for how Garfield could have higher enrollment than projected, have students on a waitlist, and still need to reduce staff due to low enrollment.
He doesn't do much better with the Lunch and Recess problem. He names all of the demands and limitations on schedules, but doesn't actually explain why all of the other demands are met and the need for lunch time was not met.
The Teaching and Learning update from Michael Tolley is a knee-slapper. He acknowledges that he doesn't do any program evaluation - that's why there are no program evaluations in the program evaluation report. But then he tries to blame it on the Board for not providing a budget for program evaluation. So it's the Board's fault that we have no program evaluations. This sounds good - right up until you remember that the Board doesn't write the budget. The superintendent and the staff write the budget, so the Board is blameless and the superintendent and the staff need to budget for program evaluation.
Funny enough, he uses Advanced Learning as an example. You remember Advanced Learning. Those are the programs that Ms Heath promised she would review annually - but has not.
He also provided an update on Special Education. He mentioned the appointment of Kari Hanson, as the new Director of School Based Special Education. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of Special Education there is other than school-based. Church-based? Park-based? Home-based?
Folks, you have just got to start reading these Friday memos to appreciate the staff's efforts to buffalo the Board.