Don’t break up PDH’s staff

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It has come to the attention of the Paul D. Henry Elementary School staff that reorganization or movement of teachers will be happening for next year. We feel that due to PDH meeting adequate yearly progress for the last two years that it is a possibility our teachers may be moved to different schools that have not made AYP. It is to our understanding that the strongest teachers will be moved to service the students most in need.

First of all, our administrator, parents, students, and teachers at PDH have worked hard to get to the place they are now. Paul D. Henry Elementary School has always put their children first and has created a strong and bonded education family amongst students, parents, educators, and community members. Having the distinct population of special education students that have been nurtured at PDH, we are aware that a change such as this could be traumatic because many of our kids have an issue with change and need consistency. Consistency for all children almost always has a positive effect on them.

There already will be some changes in staff due to a couple of teachers retiring. Since our children are first with us; we want to continue to provide as much consistency as possible from our current administrator, our teachers, and our support staff.

As a matter of concern, all the elementary school teachers throughout the district have worked very hard all year. Why set up a system that would cause competition and jealousy amongst peers? Each and every school within the district has its own unique educational community which needs to be taken into consideration. What is the surrounding school community dealing with in terms of issues that affect the ability to produce students that are focused and able to meet the educational demands? As educators, we know that a lack of support from home almost always causes students to hold less importance in the educational process. Every year more and more children are coming into the schools with unique and often severe special needs, both educationally and behaviorally. It may be more of an economic and emotional issue rather than an academic one why different schools have not been able to meet AYP.

Due to meeting AYP, the last two years does not guarantee that it will happen again this year.

Hopefully that will not be the case, but it is a possibility. Why “punish” teachers at PDH for making AYP, because that is what it feels like to us. It is something that may be done to us; not for us. As interested parties of the Las Vegas City Schools district, hopefully you are aware that those who are happy and prosperous in their jobs make more gains than those who are not.

Mrs. Aylene Romero-Griego has proven that she can lead us to work together for the benefit of our kids at PDH. Morale is good and teachers and students enjoy coming to school every day. We feel valued as educators and have physically and emotionally invested ourselves in our principal and to our learning community. To hear the threat that we have a choice “to comply and move to another school or find another job,” as was said at the board meetings, is very hurtful in that we are not valued as the leaders of children in the educational endeavors. For so many years, teachers have not been able to participate in decisions that affect them and their lives. Trust those that work with the children and value our expertise. Never have we heard of any data that would support school site changes of teachers to make AYP a possibility.

Elementary school teachers are dedicated professionals and would like to be respected for our insight and experience. If there are teachers who are documented individuals who do not perform their jobs adequately, then that should be addressed individually. The same policy should apply for administrators who have not performed adequately; address the issue with them individually. Why make those administrators reapply for a job that they have proven themselves to be successful at?

Do not “punish” all to weed out a few.

Nina Melendrez
Las Vegas

Editor’s note: This letter was signed by 16 other educators at Paul D. Elementary School.