Letter to the editor: Teacher cuts break promises from district | SierraSun.com

Letter to the editor: Teacher cuts break promises from district

Lynn Fagan
Truckee

Last year I had the priviledge of teaching at Alder Creek Middle School as a one-year leave replacement for a sixth grade teacher. It was one of the most rewarding times of my life. It was amazing to be a part of the enthusiasm and collaboration that was happening at ACMS.

The teachers’ dedication to enriching the curriculum to make it exciting while making sure they met the individual differences of the students was inspiring. The students responded; I have never seen such a vibrant, spirited group of 11 and 12 year olds who were so eager to learn.

My husband, John and I were looking forward to our fifth grade son attending ACMS in the fall and being so fortunate to have such great teachers. We were astounded to hear of the massive “intent to lay off” notices that went out last week.

At least 26 “pink slips” were received by teachers and administrators at ACMS. Some of these teachers have been serving this district for more than 20 years. At that time, only seven teachers had not received a notice. I am sure the other schools in this district are going through the same frustrations and sense of betrayal.

The proposed layoffs directly contradict the promise made by the administration during the Community Forums of trying to find solutions to the budget crisis that least impact students. Also, Measure A was passed with one of the talking points being that this would keep our district from increasing class size.

The Sierra Sun just published an article about the Professional Learning Communities educational model. I recommend that the board and district administrators visit ACMS to see how it is being successfully implemented at a school site.

In fact, it only seems fair for the board and Mr. Jennings to visit the classrooms of the teachers they will possibly be eliminating. It is ironic that you would be getting rid of teachers who have been practicing PLCs for over a year. I am sure there must have been other visits, but the only board member I saw in ACMS last year was Lisa Mohun who came in as a parent. I want to commend her for being the only board member to vote against the layoffs.

If the pink slips go through in May, we will be losing some of the most productive members in our community. Not only will we lose experienced teachers who have served our community long and well, but many new bright minds and faces whom our students have grown to know and love.

We strongly urge Mr. Jennings and the board to make good on Mr. Jennings promise to try and find cuts in other areas that do not so directly affect students.