The proposed restructuring of classes at Fairview School that brought angry parents to school board offices has been stopped, according to Beverly Smith, Director of School and Community Services at the Monroe County Community School Corporation.
“Our Director of Elementary Education Tammy Miller is serving as the interim principal at Fairview School through the end of this year,” Smith said, “She, in her wisdom as the director and a former principal, projected, suggested, and put in place some changes that would have taken place on Monday. Through some further input from staff and parents, Mrs. Miller made the suggestion to the superintendent that we not go forward with those changes. She is going to work with parents in the future to craft plans that will allow folks to work together and come up with what is best for Fairview.”
Smith confirmed reports that the proposed changes were to create smaller classes of students with below standard literacy skills.
This determination was based on a variety of performance evaluations of students including, in particular, those from the Northwest Literacy Evaluation reports.
Beyond the now suspended restructuring of classes, there was also concern expressed by parents that these changes might impact Fairview’s adoption and development of the Artful Learning program, and associated changes in teaching, curriculum and enrollment.
“At this point what we are most focused on is that, as of today, students will be returning to their original classroom assignments that they enjoyed during the first semester. School will go on as normal and Mrs. Miller will work with teachers and parents to return students to the classrooms and work together for the advancement of Fairview.”
The original and strongest complaint voiced by Fairview parents was the lack of consultation with parents by the school or district administration, or even of direct notice beforehand of the proposals prior to their adoption.
However, the parental protests brought about an immediate meeting with school board officials, including District Superintendent Judith Demuth, yesterday morning.
This was followed up with the announcement of the scheduling of Fairview Family Meetings Monday, January 13, and next Monday, January 21 at 6:30 p.m, at Fairview School.
Smith acknowledged that the parents’ protests, as well as comments from teaching staff, helped prompt the reversal of the class restructuring plans.
“It’s always wise to have as much input from all of your stakeholders as possible,” Smith said, “I believe that this situation just underscored that this practice is something we enjoy and continue.”
Smith says that consultation with Fairview parents and teachers will continue, to decide how best to address the immediate issue of students literacy, the evaluation of students’ performance, and the best means to address any perceived deficiencies.