I said this (in my email to Board directors which I published here in that blog post):
“NO school should be making safety decisions on its own…”The district replied:
“As a former SPS parent and PTA president, I am aghast that the district is now playing fast and loose with student and staff safety.”
“And one day when something truly bad happens because schools and principals decided THEY could make the rules, you will be very unhappy with the outcomes which could include harm to both students and staff.”
No school made any safety decision on their own. In this case, Garfield followed district guidelines. The district is not “playing fast and loose”... The safety and security of our students is one of our top priorities.
For me, when someone says "as a former SPS parent and PTA co-president," I think that sounds like a personal opinion. But to be clear, what I said about possible security decisions as the result of site-based decision-making at Garfield by Principal Howard are my opinions.
I was firm in my belief from Board policy that if non-staff adults in the building are working one-on-one with students, then they are volunteers, not visitors.
The District says Garfield made this call that the people in the building working one-on-one with students at report card conferences are visitors, not the district.
The terms "visitors" and "volunteers" are not to be used interchangeably (even though that appears to be what Garfield did.)
After that exchange, I followed up with district Communications and this is what I said:
- Garfield, in an initial letter to parents at the website called these visitors "volunteers." Hence, the confusion.
- As well, the PTSA eBark and the GHS letter differ on who looks at the report card. One GHS parent said this at the blog:
The terms of the report card conference have changed considerably in the last 24 hours. A letter to parents now states that "the student will be paired with a professional from the local community, who is not one of their teachers, and the two of them will review the report card data: grades, attendance and credits." It is totally unclear who these community members are, how they were selected, whether and how they were trained. The conference is supposed to take place "under the supervision of GHS staff." I just sent a letter to all my child's teachers and administrative staff that my child is not permitted to participate, in order to protect his safety and privacy.As well, one parent reported this:
I asked my kid and she said that ALL students were instructed to give their report cards to the person holding the conference, she thought they were from the district, so that is pretty deceiving. I've instructed her to never hand any of her information unless they have a written permission from me.I'm trying to understand why one thing would be said one day to parents and something different the next. Any comment on that?
Also, were students instructed to give their report cards to the adult holding the conference?
- The letter also said this:
The school district is sponsoring this partnership. Aki Kurose and Denny Middle School have had very successful Report Card Conferences in the past and we are planning on the same result!Who is the partnership with?
- As well, parents at Denny say they never saw any Report Card conference like this before. Could you tell me when it happened and how the visitors used for that Report Card conference were found?
Here's the answer I received yesterday:
I don't know the answers to your questions... please file a Public Records Request for the most accurate information.
So if you ask too many questions, then the answer is go ask elsewhere. However, most of the answers to my questions cannot be found in public disclosure documents and Communications knows that. However, I can file a request for the claim that Denny and Aki did the same type of Report Card Conferences and I'll bet that Denny did no such thing.