Commentary

Still many problems with Rockdale schools

Dear editor:

I have been grateful to see Supt. Dr. Howell Wright, making efforts to relay information to our community in your newspaper, as well as become more actively involved.

However,Iamleftwitha feeling of frustration and the sense that an intentional image improvement is at work.

Dr. Wright discussed safety,and putting students’ needs above the wants of adults. He specifically stated, in regards to safety, that there had been no incidents last school year which put students at risk.

He failed to mention incidents during the current school year:

• The elementary gym is still not air-conditioned, even though an additional $ 200,000 was attached to the $680,000 upgrade to the baseball field.

When younger students were exposed to the extreme heat during August and September, 2010, some of them had symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Priority was placed on making the boys baseball field look nice.

The elementary gym serves over 430 students, while the baseball field is used for 45-60 students.

• Two students were jabbed or stabbed with the sharp end of a protractor at the junior high, and there have been many incidents at the high school.

• When there was an electrical outage at the high school, all students were moved to the cafeteria, unmonitored.

Instead of the high school police officer stepping in and monitoring students, he had to leave to attend a Lions Club meeting with Dr. Wright.

• For the second straight year a teacher or instructional aide has been hired and fired for inappropriate sexual contact with a female student, or sexual relationship with a student.

• The heat went out in several elementary classrooms during the recent winter storms. This was not due to the black-outs, as the lights and heat were working elsewhere in the building. There was great effort by the teachers, staff, and principals to move children to warm classrooms; however, it was not conducive for learning.

• There is already a shortage of full-time nurses for each campus, and now one nurse is retiring. This will leave two campuses without a full-time nurse next year. I hope priority will be placed on keeping students safe by having a full-time nurse on each campus.

I hope the board can continue to reduce the top-heavy administration by more than $55,000, so that teachers, nurses, instructional aides are kept in the classroom (which I hear are going to be large next year).

I think Pam Kauffman will do a terrific job as a top administrator; yet, I don’t think the position is necessary for this district, especially during these tough educational economic crises.

The RISD superintendent and board could have already saved the district over $600,000 from the baseball field improvements and another $85,000 for the blue house they just purchased.

Were they not informed of the upcoming legislative session? The superintendent should have known, and prepared the board to make good financial decisions. $765,000 would have been wonderful to put in our own “rainy day fund”.

Yes, we all need to contact our legislator, congressman, and senator to use their rainy day fund. If everyone is going to have to do more with less, that should include our top administrators.

Sincerely,

Alyssa Kubiak-Marburger kubiburger@hotmail.com


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2011-03-10 digital edition



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