School Board President Addresses Some Community Concerns
February 16, 2015
Dear Shorewood Schools Community,
In the past week considerable attention was given to community concerns shared at the February 10, 2015 meeting of the school board. The concerns were shared through a petition and through comments at the board meeting. This letter is intended to communicate how we will respond to the concerns and to additional rumors that we are hearing as well.
Before I address how we will move forward I want to encourage members of our community with concerns with the school board or district employees, to have conversations first. We are at our best when solving problems together and seeking to understand truthful information instead of reacting to incomplete or inaccurate information.
The petition sent to Shorewood school board members lists a number of concerns and asks the Board to not renew contracts with Dr. Tabia Nicholas and Dr. Martin Lexmond. We are approaching these concerns as a learning opportunity and a unique leadership opportunity as well.
Shorewood is a community that deeply loves its public schools and I am proud to serve on the school board in a community that is so supportive. Because of the passion members of our community hold, disagreements arise. Even though moments like this can be uncomfortable, they also clarify for our administrative team and the school board areas where we can improve.
It is important to keep in mind that the petition included just over 100 signatures in a community of 13,000. While we are putting in place a plan to address the concerns, we are also being mindful that there are many parents who are very supportive of our current direction.
Shorewood Schools continues to be among the best in the state. The recent 2015 Niche Rankings of schools and school districts place Shorewood as 4th in the state with all four of our schools in the top 20 in the state when compared to schools with the same grade levels. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked our high school #1 in the state of Wisconsin. We are proud to be part of these accomplishments knowing that they indicate there is much more going right in Shorewood Schools than the recent discussion and media coverage of concerns may indicate.
We are moving forward with a plan to address the concerns noted in the petition and will be sharing additional information with the community. We feel that addressing the concerns, while maintaining a focus on what is working well, will bring our community together to focus on improving outcomes for all students.
There are also rumors circulating regarding internal investigations of employees. The District does not comment on ongoing personnel matters. However, as a matter of general process, the District uses outside investigators where it is appropriate.
I hope this information is helpful. Please watch this space for additional background information on concerns raised in the petition. We will also be addressing some of the concerns at upcoming board meetings.
School Board President
Sunday February, 15, 2015 at 11:00PM
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