SB Chair Answers Questions on Special Education: Drop Dead

This email was received yesterday from school board chair, Nancy Steenson, in response to ten questions I directed to Special Education Director, Beth Rincon, following her presentation to the board about Timberlane’s Special Education program in which she invited questions from the board.  My email copied her and Dr. Metzler.


Mrs. Green,

I must ask you, yet again, to please follow the proper chain of command. Any questions you have for a district employee must go through the School Board Chair. Your other alternative is to file a RTK request. Please do not continue to contact district personnel on your own. It is entirely inappropriate for you to do so as a Board member.

Nancy


You can see the questions I posed in the April 29th blog post on this site: https://timberlaneandsandown.wordpress.com/2015/04/29/questions-on-special-education/   Here is my reply.

Dear Ms. Steenson,
Ms. Rincon very kindly invited questions from the board and no one at that meeting said that was not permitted.
Could you kindly point out where it says I can’t contact district personnel directly?
That unreasonable restriction on my ability to do my job was part of SB Rules that was repealed this year.
If you would like, I will resubmit my questions via you.  Would that make any difference in obtaining the information?


In early April, I requested the board discuss an outside audit of our special education services. This was put on the agenda but when I was not able to attend the meeting I requested the item be moved to another meeting or that I be permitted to attend the meeting by phone, which is specifically permitted by law.  Both were denied me.
What is going on here, aside from a breathtaking display of arrogance, is not just about one dissident school board member being bullied and stymied.  This is all about your right to understand the workings of your educational system.  Chairman Steenson is the flowering of Timberlane’s culture that regularly says “drop dead” to those who question it.
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3 Comments

Filed under Sandown Issues

3 responses to “SB Chair Answers Questions on Special Education: Drop Dead

  1. Chris True

    Donna,
    Nancy and I go way back….. I’ll ask her where it is written that you can’t ask questions of a district employee. i should have an answer for you by Sunday……this Monday at the latest.

    • Thanks, Chris.
      Would it really matter? It used to be a written School Board Rule. You can be assured it will be the next thing on the Policy Committee’s agenda because you just can’t have information getting to school board members.

    • Timberlane Policy BHC
      BOARD-EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS
      The Board desires to maintain open channels of communication between itself and the employee. The basic line of communication will, however, be through the Superintendent of Schools.
      Staff Communications to the Board
      All communications or reports to the Board or any Board committee from principals, supervisors, teachers, or other employees shall be submitted through the Superintendent.
      Board Communications to Staff
      All official communications, policies, and directives of employee interest and concern will be communicated to employees through the Superintendent, and the Superintendent will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the Board’s actions and concerns.
      Visits to School
      Individual Board members interested in visiting schools or classrooms will inform the Superintendent of such visits and make arrangements for visitations through the principals of the various schools. Such visits shall be regarded as informal expressions of interest in school affairs and not as “inspections” or visits for supervisory or administrative purposes. Official visits by Board members will be carried on only under Board authorization and with the full knowledge of the Superintendent and principals.
      Social Interaction
      Employees and Board members share a keen interest in the schools and in education generally, and it is to be expected that when they meet at social affairs and other functions, they will informally discuss such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations and general school district problems. However, staff members are reminded that individual members have no special authority excepting when they are convened at a legal meeting of the Board or vested with special authority by Board action. There, discussions by either party of personalities or personnel grievances will be considered as evidence of unethical conduct.

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