Response to Parent Meeting

Email sent by Tom Gale to Sheri Williams, director of elementary, on Thursday, Sept. 8:


Thank you for applying a half-time resource to this situation. I did not hear anyone last night thank you for that decision. Like every other parent in that room last night, I want more than that but I truly thank you for taking action to address the problem. I also recognize and respect that a percentage of your responsibilities involve making decisions based on relative levels of pain, suffering and dysfunction in the classrooms across BVSD elementary schools.

I did leave the meeting feeling that the second grade kids at Crest View are victims of a system that can adjust to certain anomalies, but not to multiple or multi-layered anomalies. There appears to be several “perfect storm” elements – formulas, 4th grade size, space, budget, planning cycle – that make real-time, commonsense decisions based on the reality of ESL and special education needs combined with class size impossible. So at one level it is in fact “Catch-22” insanity, especially in light of comparison with Foothill. I think that is the core of the frustration expressed last night.

I think it is worthwhile for the Crest View second grade parents to continue to explore creative options for how the district may provide additional support, and thank you for continuing to keep an open mind regarding this situation. I believe it was extremely helpful for parents last night to gain a better understanding of some complex issues. There is a strong commitment by parents to support the teachers, which I will continue to help facilitate. I think it’s important to keep discussing and stay aware of the district-wide issues that are creating the constraints our kids face, and work quickly to see if we all can forge a better solution, both for this semester and looking out through fifth grade for these kids.