Letters to the Editor
Granted, splitting the principal duties between several individuals doesn’t seem ideal, I find it more concerning that some of the school board seem to be ignoring an upcoming problem. With the new school being constructed I question how administration of the new school will be conducted. Will the new two winged school be in need of three principals? It seems like overkill in the administration department, and with the going pay rate of principals, a little expensive too. In light of Hinton’s dismissal, the school board should be taking the opportunity to adjust in way that will be more practical once the new school is complete. It seems pretty obvious to most, and given conversations I have had with others in the community, that one of the principals would have been deemed surplus in the near future. Does the school board really want to hire someone temporarily, with the understanding that they would be given their walking papers in less than two years?
Susan Chaffee’s comment of “…at what peril?” in reference to the added duties to Lakin, Carlson and the two lead teachers seemed a bit naïve. Temporarily added duties occur all the time in the working world. While these duties might not be a stress-free experience, other individuals have survived. Personally, I am proud of those who are stepping up to the plate to help out Center Elementary, and I have confidence in their ability to adjust. Instead, I believe that the money that would be used to pay a temporary principal should be used in a way that would be beneficially to the students. I understand that conducting the everyday administration of the elementary, added to their current duties, would be a burden to several people. Yet in light of the struggling economy and tight funds of the school district, I think money could be shifted to address an immediate problem at Center Elementary.
My youngest son is starting kindergarten this year. While he enjoyed his Slow Start visit, it came to my attention that the two kindergarten classes are packed (29 in one class and 28 in the other). It also came to my attention that the Nespelem School District is suffering from an over abundance of kindergarteners as well, so there is no room for overflow there. The teaching staff at Center is wonderful, but with 57 new kindergartners and potentially more, it seems the school board could use the available funds to hire another teacher. The benefits of smaller class sizes have been widely published and include more individual time with a teacher, which helps to promote better individual self-esteem and overall success in students.
Instead of quibbling over whether or not to hire another principal, something that will be a moot point once the new school is finished, I think the school board should be addressing the academic needs of students. I don’t think we should put off the inevitability of the principal situation being a seniority issue in two years, especially given the fact that the school district has presented an accepted Lead Teacher alternative.