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AC Reynolds parent expresses concerns

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Good morning, Ms. Sellers, I am acknowledging receipt of your email denying my request to present my concerns to the ACRHS School Improvement Team (SIT). In all fairness, since you are not the chair of the committee, do you have the authority to dismiss my request?

Three questions remain:

1. Can the SIT Chairs let me know why the items I sent in September and October have not been addressed? I followed the protocol of sending them 7 days in advance. Yes, Assistant Principal Yontz talked about AP classes in general in November, but not about why the AP Physics and AP US History classes don’t have textbooks that go with the curriculum. After the meeting when I asked Mr. Yontz why, he said, “[AP US History] doesn’t have textbooks?” AP US teacher, Ms. Yurkovich, told parents at the open house she had officially asked for these. No one answered my questions regarding rigor in standard and honors classes (remember the Spanish class example posted below) or whether the free courses developed by the N.C. School of Science and Math have been considered.

2. Why are non-SIT member teachers allowed to present their agenda items at SIT meetings but non-member parents are not? The current practice is for the SIT Chair to describe agenda items or have the party requesting the agenda item present their concerns. This was not the case for my concerns. Neither the Co-Chairs of the SIT or the parent representatives presented my concerns to the committee, although “Parent Emails” was listed on the November agenda. In fact, when I asked the parent reps after the meeting if they had read my agenda item requests, the answer was ‘no’. Judith Fender said she received the email but had not read it. Alex Diez was a “substitute rep” and said she was handed the email when she entered the meeting but didn’t have time to read it.

3. Why isn’t the classroom funded first? I raised concerns that over $300,000 will be spent to make the ACRHS Food Lab “ADA compliant.”. You are aware that there are already two ADA compliant kitchens in the ACRHS intensive intervention program. I also questioned the expense of the Food Lab renovation (architect documents describe tearing out walls, floors and ceiling; all appliances will be replaced even if functional.) As you know the renovation money (capital outlay dollars) can be used for any lawful education expense, including textbooks, instructional supplies, Project Lead The Way/STEM labs, etc. per state law (General Statute § 105-502-b – see bottom posting)

State law § 115C-105.27 mandates “substantial parent involvement” in SITs: “Parental involvement is a critical component of school success and positive student achievement; therefore, it is the intent of the General Assembly that parents, along with teachers, have a substantial role in developing school improvement plans. To this end, school improvement team meetings shall be held at a convenient time to assure substantial parent participation”.

And yes, I would like to meet with you and the superintendent. My concerns are not only for my son but for all ACRHS students affected by a culture of low academic expectations. While the teachers at ACRHS must be applauded for their hard work, it is the culture created by administration/central office at issue.

Thank you,

Lisa Baldwin

828-243-6590

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