There were additional responses, which were receive before the deadline, to the question: What’s on your mind?
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Your question, “What’s on Your Mind?” prompted me to respond to you about our current school district situation. I am a concerned school district employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, for my employment sake. I wish to commend the Times-Herald for staying on top of this issue for those who do not attend board meetings.
First of all, I would like to address the unprofessional behavior of our “top two administrators” as it relates to their level of, or the “lack of,” communication. As a professional educator, I feel when it is almost certain the Reduction in Force policy is going to be utilized; a district wide staff meeting should have been called to inform everyone. Certified and classified staff combined. I should not have to read this in the evening newspaper. This is very unprofessional. We are what makes and can break the school district. I am very thankful that we as teachers do not perform our job in this manner. Communication is vital in every aspect of everyday life. This is the way to prevent any rumors that may arise. But to the dismay of many of my colleagues and myself, the superintendent and deputy superintendent do not share the same viewpoint.
Where is the visionary leadership in our district? I find it to be non-existent! I have yet to see either administrator in my classroom or even darken the door. When I do see Dr. Woods, he has yet to call me by my correct name. You know people, this is unacceptable! Expect More, expect more of what? From all of the captains I have known, this is the first one who does not know the direction in which his ship is sailing. Our buildings are filthy and we do without the necessary supplies to do our job. But, yet, we are told to “Expect More.”
An open door policy means just that — an open door! The times I have been at the main office, the superintendent’s door is always closed. And, from what I see, there is no meeting going on and the tension in that office can be felt as soon as you get halfway down the hall. And, when I have called to talk with him to make an appointment, the receptionist had to go down the hall to ask him to answer his phone due to the fact he would not pick up his phone. And, after speaking with him to schedule an appointment, the appointment was not made. I was told, by him, to hang up, call back and talk to his secretary to make the appointment. For the life of me, I could not make any sense of this procedure. Once again, this is not acceptable.
I am begging our school board to help us! Help us help ourselves. The morale across the entire district is at an all time LOW! The fiscal distress designation is not our fault. But, yet, we are the ones who are the beneficiaries of such bad news. It is our jobs that will be cut…our lives that will be affected…and our salaries that will be decreased…and yet with the same ole “Expect More” mantra. Please ask why the morale is so low and direct the superintendent to find ways to address the issue. If he does not know how, please take it upon yourselves to make it better for the entire district. The morale issue did not just happen and it will take some time to get it where it needs to be. And, then and only then, will we feel that someone actually cares. When some employees (that are in supervisory positions) can work from home or the ones that can come to work at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., or even 10 a.m., and be able to sign in as if they were there at 7 a.m.) and get away with it is simply WRONG! This needs to be stopped. The “top two” administrators are aware of this happening and it has been reported and nothing done. Once again, this is wrong! There are many reasons why the morale is so LOW and this is just one BIG reason why it is. But, yet, we are told to “Expect More.”
Please bring ACCOUNTABILITY back to our district. We, as educators, demand it and if you, as school board members don’t help us, no one else will. Because the bottom line is, the superintendent and deputy superintendent do not care!
— A FCSD Educator
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What’s on my mind? Let’s see, where should I begin? As a long time employee of the Forrest City School District, the situation with the Forrest City School District is heavy on my mind and absolutely absurd. The superintendent cannot or will not answer any question forth right. For the life of me I do not understand WHY the school board continues to tolerate this inexcusable behavior from the chief in command of the district. Do they think he knows the answers but just chooses not to answer them? Do they even realize he did not answer the question? There are a few board members who do press him for answers, but get nothing. That man talks circles around every question directed to him not only in board meetings but in response to any question on any given day. Of course, that is if you can in fact speak with him!
As I am sure the public read in the Times-Herald, the superintendent is asking the board for permission to implement the Reduction in Force policy at the next board meeting. This is also where each and every employee who did not attend the board meeting learned of this. There has yet to be any information given to any district employees relating to RIF.
There is absolutely no communication within the district. If an employee wishes to know anything that is going on in the district, they must attend the board meeting. We used to receive information from each building/area supervisor. Now we learn what we can by attending school board meetings. I will admit, it is most difficult to come to work in the current atmosphere. So we shall continue to “Expect More,” and get less!
Ah, but the illustrious superintendent will get himself seen in every church in town, because that keeps up the “Appearance” that he is involved in the community. Ha! What a complete joke! He is only fooling himself and a few others. He is so proud of his various civic affiliations. I wonder if he thinks that is what leadership is? Beyond this facade is very little of anything that defines a leader. I do think a few board members are on to him, but there are a couple who are still completely snowed.
I suppose if board members spent more time in the district, they would be enlightened quickly. But if they are only showing up for the board meeting and buying what they are being told by the superintendent, then I guess we get what we got...
Morale is at an all time low in the district. When there is no leadership, the ship sinks fast. We are in our third year of sinking, how much longer do you think we can float before we are completely sunk? I IMPLORE the school board members to become more informed before critical decisions are voted on!
I hesitate to even venture to the next critical subject, Forrest City High School. The situation there is totally asinine. The students have no respect for the principal. Fights (or riots as referred to by some) are a daily occurrence. Even during 1st period. Students are in the halls in droves during class time.
I say, if we want improvement to our community whatsoever, we must “Rift” (per the superintendent’s terminology) the superintendent, but quick. We as a district have been tolerant of a superintendent who calls Tennessee his home far too long. We MUST have a leader with a background in public schools in Arkansas.
I am not even sure we can save this ship, but if it is at all important to the citizens of Forrest City, I implore you to attend the next board meeting, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m., at the Forrest City School District’s Administration Office. Let’s show the Forrest City School Board and Superintendent who has the best intentions for our district and town at heart.
— A very disappointed,