May 12, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Category: Letters to the Editor
Created on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 15:36
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Principals

Dear Editor: I am writing to voice my concern about the possibility of reassigning four of our principals and vice principals to different schools. I read the article in Friday’s paper and am shocked and unnerved that this is being considered right now. We are literally in the middle of a global pandemic that has drastically changed our school system this year and will continue to negatively impact students this fall. We need all the school district administrators operating at top capacity; this is not the time for them to be thrust into new jobs with steep learning curves. 

The school district superintendent stated that the goal behind this plan is to close the achievement gap. While I fully support the importance of working toward this goal, I believe this solution is likely to have the opposite effect. One of the best things about our school district is the relationships that the staff have with the kids. These foundations of trust and care are one of the most important ways our schools can support students who are falling behind. Our kids need safe learning environments before we will ever be able to make a dent in the achievement gap. Right now our kids are under unprecedented stress; the district should provide them stability they need by allowing our principals to greet them by name when they (hopefully) return this fall. 

These are the principals who already have connections with the students in their buildings. They have connections with the parents. They are the ones who have called us to check in during this difficult time. They are the ones who have driven to the homes of their students during a pandemic to make sure their students are safe. They are the ones we count on to personally know their students and provide emotional security. 

This proposed change is simply not in the best interest of our students. Keep the principals where they are right now.  Reassignments of this magnitude should be studied comprehensively, should only be implemented under a more permanent superintendent, and should allow ample input from the capable principals we trust.

Kate Johnson, Sitka

 

Quarantine

Dear Editor: I sent the following letter to the City of Sitka Assembly and mayor.

Dear Mayor and Assembly: It is my contention that you took an oath of office to basically serve and protect. If you know for 100% that the medical community, the hospital, all the first responders, all the people on the front lines are 100% sure, that we can safeLy end the quarantine, then that may be an OK thing to do.  Again, you are 100% sure, not guessing, praying, and not hoping. BUT, if you are not 100% sure, then you are gambling with lives and you were not elected to do that - you were elected to serve and protect. I do not believe that Sitka is 100% ready and able to guarantee, promise us of our safety. Keep the quarantine. Thank you.

 Jeff Budd, Sitka

 

School Principals

Dear Editor: I am writing this letter to express my opposition to Mary Wegner’s recent proposal concerning the principal placement changes. In regards to meeting School Board achievement goals, she is quoted in the Sentinel as saying, “This is just the first step in the process.” 

It concerns me that Mary would want to make such a huge and impactful first step in a process that she will not be a part of come July 1. This type of process needs to happen with a leader who is onboard to stay and guide the district administrators and teachers through not only the first step, but all of the subsequent steps that will follow. 

This year has already been extremely trying and difficult for students because of the of pandemic. To throw this into the mix while Mary is on her way out the door is a haphazard and reckless move. It will only add more confusion to an already uncertain and confusing time, and ultimately, it is the students who will pay the price.

Now is NOT the time! 

Kristin Hames, Sitka