The following was sent from a member of the Crestwood Elementary staff. We believe it is illustrative of the current relationship between KSD’s Superintendent Dr. Lee Vargas and the teachers and staff of Kent:
Well, the meeting at Crestwood on Friday morning with our new superintendent was VERY interesting. First of all, the day before the meeting, our KEA Rep sent the staff the KSD Action Plan, including what the district plans for SpEd inclusion, ELL push in, and Tiered intervention. From that discussion we found out that KEA wouldn’t even know about what was coming down the pike, but for their attendance at board meetings. The staff was shocked and upset.
The meeting began. He talked for about 10 minutes about why we have to fix the achievement gap. Then he took questions. Our KEA Rep’s question was, “In the Preliminary Action Plan that the school board has already approved, you want to implement SpEd inclusion, ELL push-in, and Tiered Intervention in the core classroom. Since workload was arguably the most important issue in our recent strike, how do you plan to implement these changes without further impacting our workload?”
And he was off to the races, telling what these programs were and why they were good. He NEVER touched the issue of workload. He proceeded to not answer anyone else’s question, either. The other questions were about what kind of support we could expect in the classroom next year, about Crestwood’s difficulty with projections (when we learned our principal has the figures and hasn’t shared them with us), ELL programs looking different from building to building and about the perception of the parents of kids who are at the top end about including children who need much help without the support, so their children go by the wayside. He honestly didn’t answer any question that was asked.
The meeting went right up to the bell. Some that could, stayed after. The whole building was buzzing afterward and the entire day long! NO ONE was impressed with him – all saw through his circular talk. I am feeling like feelings of dissatisfaction among staff are right under the surface. It makes me feel hopeful that KEA can organize in response to this Action Plan.