SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Concerned parents attended a school board meeting in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, with many calling for the Division Street Elementary School principal to be let go.
The board met previously a month ago, and listened to an hour of public comment from concerned parents over the future of their elementary school, alleging the Division St. principal is responsible for more than a dozen teachers leaving in a year's time.
Parents hoped for some answers from the board of education Thursday, saying with only five weeks until school starts, many students don't know who their teacher will be.
"My 8-year-old is saying he has Mrs. TBA One and other kids are saying they have Mrs. TBA Two," said Caroline Smith.
"I'm hoping at the very least they have conducted most if not all of the exit interviews," said Smith. "Not just with teachers who have left this year, but there are many teachers who have left in the past couple of years. Really mainstay, career teachers who have left."
The Saratoga Springs Superintendent says because the
concerns surrounding the Division St. Elementary principal is a personnel
matter, he cannot discuss it openly.
"That's why we're here, to hear a status," says Ron Tremper. "It appears like you have nothing and there should be at least something you can give us."
Tremper has two children at the elementary school and says one of them has still not been assigned a teacher for September.
"Whatever is causing them to leave, we need to fix," he says. "They should not have to feel like they have to leave the school to get a better place to work."
During the last board meeting, parents described the atmosphere of the school as caustic, alleging the principal is to blame for more than a dozen teachers leaving in a year. Now, they say they simply want assurances that their concerns are being taken seriously.
"I was surprised the board did not lead with a status report," says Smith. "I just really hope as we move forward, to stem the tide of parental anxiety and frustration, that there will be frequent updates so that we all feel like we're on the same side of this."
"I think that there are limiations that are in place that are tying their hands and I understand that," adds Judy Soukup. "But also as a parent, I have a sense of urgency to understand what is happening as a parent on our campus before school starts."
"The letter that was sent out was
very vague and says we are going to do the right things," says
Tremper. "Well, let us know what they are. They've known about the
problem for a while and nothing's been done. All we really want to know
is when it's going to happen."
The next board meeting will be August 13th.
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