From the inbox, smells like union busting wrapped up in a cute package of intimidation and total disregard for parents:
Communication at DCPA
Our contract will provide for a school liaison, which will help foster positive communication. Our contract will allow teachers to communicate to parents by phone and e-mail in a professional manner without prior approval of the Executive Director. Our contract will guarantee a school calendar that includes significant dates.
Administrator communication to teachers, parents, and students should be helpful and professional.
o Non-emergency robocalls to teachers were sent out to our phones at 11:15pm and 4:00am.
o The Executive Director repeatedly promised all students with high scores on the state test a trip to Dorney Park; the trip never occurred.
o Last year, the Executive Coordinator lied to a parent about a situation and then told the parent to complain about a teacher to the Executive Director, telling the parent the teacher was a “troublemaker.”
o When the current Executive Director joined our school, he asked for teacher concerns through an e-survey. One of the most prolific complaints was about an office staff member (now the Executive Coordinator) who was and is consistently incompetent, dishonest, and disrespectful. To address this concern, the Executive Director told teachers at a staff meeting essentially that any future complaints on this matter could result in the teacher being fired.
o The Executive Director has threatened to spank students.
o Teachers are called for meetings – disciplinary, parent/family, and professional development – without notice and/or during instructional time. Last year during our math block, all Kindergarten teachers were required, without notice, to leave their classes for a Smartboard training (note: Smartboards were installed but are not operable as Smartboards unless a teacher brings in a home laptop that is compatible and buys the correct cords). Specials teachers covered two classrooms and a parent volunteer, asked to do so by the Executive Director, covered our classroom by herself.
o Administrators yell at teachers.
o The Executive Director has insisted all teacher e-mails to families be sent to him first for approval.
Communication should occur more frequently.
o Student snacks decreased from two snacks a year ago to one snack, and then this year snack was canceled – teachers found out when snack did not show up at its usual time and inquired. Parents were not informed of the change.
o Last year, school was canceled for the last two days of school. Teachers were handed a note to send home to students about an hour before the end of the school day; in our classroom, all we were told was, “Make sure this goes home.” Upon reading the note to be sent home we found out that this was to be the last day of school for the year.
o E-mails to administrators are routinely ignored.
o A staff attendance committee last year delivered recommendations to the Executive Director that were modified and then accepted. However, the recommendations were never implemented or communicated to teachers or parents, and repeated inquiries along these lines were ignored.
o When I approached our interim Executive Director (our current Business Manager) at the beginning of last year about the clocks in our classrooms not working (all of which still do not work), I was simply told it was “not a priority.”
o We had a professional development last year for all teachers on the Journeys curriculum and were told it had been ordered. Kindergarten had been told we would have all have appropriate ELA curriculum by the new year (January 2012). The teachers’ editions arrived but were not allowed to leave their boxes in the teacher workroom (which has been missing ceiling tiles for over half of a year). The Journeys curriculum never arrived and no answers about its status were given. When the Kindergarten team inquired last year about whether we were ordering Journeys (or any) curriculum for the following year, our Executive Director responded, “I plead the Fifth.” When asked if we would be able to know by the end of the year what the plan was so that we could prepare over the summer, he repeated, “I plead the Fifth” and would not discuss it further.
This is who to contact if you are a concerned stakeholder, I wouldn’t bother with Red Clay since charter accountability there is not obvious and transparent enough for me to point you to the right person:
Yardise Jones, Board President