Thank you for your inquiry about the ID program and I will answer your questions below as clearly as possible. If, after reading my response, you continue to have questions, I'd be happy to meet with you to discuss the matter further.
At the Board of Education meeting on Thursday evening I said that in April I wrote to the staff throughout the district asking that if they had any interest in making a change in their teaching assignment to speak with their building principal. In that communication I also explained that sometimes making a change in the grade they are teaching or the school they are teaching in, is a healthy practice. I was asking if there was anyone interested in volunteering in making a change. Changes happen every year in schools…people retire, accept positions in other districts, we have to close classrooms at the elementary level or cancel courses at the high school because of declining enrollment. Many times we don't know what changes are necessary until the summer when our final enrollment numbers are clearer. My purpose in asking the staff is anyone was interested in making a change was merely informational, for my own purposes. At that time, I also explained that I may not be able to grant their request, but it would help me to know who might be interested.
On May 11th at the Board of Education meeting, during my report, I reminded the Board about my communication with the staff, and went on to say that I, along with the assistant superintendent, the Director of Special Services, and the building principals were examining the needs of the district and making certain we were making the best use of the people we have. I indicated we were thinking about possible changes in a number of areas including classrooms, special education, reading and mathpersonnel, and the ID program. I went on to say that we were considering careful, thoughtful changes in the district and that I would come back to the Board with those recommendations in June along with the reasons I was making those recommendations.
As far as ID is concerned, specifically what I said is…"You know we've had lots of conversations over the past year about the ID program. Some have been about the discrepancies and disparities between the program at Green Acres and that at Ridge Road. For the past two years we've been meeting with the ID teachers from both groups in an effort to align the two programs.” I went on to say that "one of the discrepancies and disparities, I believe, is that we have an experienced ID staff at Ridge Road and a more novice staff at Green Acres." I went on to say that "maybe we need to consider blending (the two groups) in order to get the two programs more aligned, which has been our goal." Finally, I stated that we would ask for volunteers first, and (if there were none) then we would have to go from there.
Please know that I never suggested that I was going to take all of the Ridge Road ID teachers and move them to Green Acres, and put all of the Green Acres teachers and moving them to Ridge Road, as some have suggested. I want to assure you that I would never do that. I also did not suggest that there were definitely going to be staff changes. I raised the topic of change in my report to the Board because I wanted to be open with people by letting them know that one of the things we were considering was finding a way of bringing together people who have experience with those who have less experience, as one way of making the program stronger throughout the district. The teachers at Green Acres are excellent educators, as are the teachers at Ridge Road. I believe each group has something to learn from one another.
I realize that you, and a number of other Ridge Road families, purchased your homes specifically to be in that school district. I also know that you, and many other families both at Green Acres and Ridge Road are passionate about the ID program. I have tremendous respect for that. I want to assure you that the ID program will continue to exist at both schools and we will continue to explore ways of making it better for all students. Right now, my discussions with administrators is about how we might do that.
I hope I've addressed your concerns. If I haven't, or if anything I've written is unclear, I would be happy to arrange a time to meet with you that fits best into your schedule.
In accord with Connecticut General Statutes' requirement to provide a free public school education, the Board of Education will provide at no cost to students all instructional equipment, books and materials as it deems necessary, needed to maintain the desired instructional program subject to reasonable rules concerning their care and use. No fees, deposits or other charges not specifically outlined in an approved student handbook, course guide, or parent handbook shall be levied.
Students shall be responsible for damaged or lost textbooks, library/media materials and other educational equipment or materials. Fines and assessments shall be levied, collected and disbursed subject to regulation by the building Principal. The schools are authorized to withhold grades, report cards or high school diploma until payment for a return of the textbook, library/media or other educational equipment or material is made.
The Superintendent of Schools shall periodically review and report to the Board of Education fees established for all equipment and facility rentals, admissions to athletic or extracurricular events, field trips/excursions and other related fees that may be assessed.
It is the policy of the North Haven Board of Education that no staff, student, or parent on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national origin, religious creed, marital status, disability, relation or sexual orientation be excluded from participation, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity sponsored by its public schools.
Retaliation against any individual who complains pursuant to the Board’s policy and regulations is strictly prohibited. The district will take actions necessary to prevent retaliation as a result of filing a complaint.
The North Haven Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: