Jordan-Elbridge School District parents who've been concerned about administrative changes and the activities of the Board of Education have received a multi-page document answering their 58 specific concerns.
Parent Mary Jo Wick notes the answers were not on official school district or State Education Department letterhead, and there is no signature on the document, however Superintendent Marilyn Dominick tells us that she, two board members and their attorney compiled the answers.
You can download and read the entire document by clicking here.
Among the concerns:*The superintendent job. Why is Marilyn Dominick leaving early, and what's happening to replace her? There are indications that the Board has been interviewing, and perhaps offered the job, though a vacancy announcement was withdrawn. The answers claim the Board is still exploring how to proceed on the job opening.*Investigation? There are reports that charges are being filed, and that an investigation is underway, but by whom?*Double paying. Because several administrators are suspended, fired or moved, the district is paying for others to do their jobs.*Unofficial links. Some citizens' groups worry about personal relationships among key players, and in hiring.*Elbridge Elementary. The long-time principal is now a grant writer, with an interim principal who's been denied tenure.Some parents worry about what will happen after his year is up. They've been told there's no vacancy now, in the principal's jobIn the answers, 'we are not at liberty to discuss' is a common answer. Bob Freeman, who oversees New Yorks open government legislation, told us from Albany on Tuesday that there is no requirement of secrecy in discussing personnel matters, and that to go into executive session, the school board is supposed to give a specific reason. He says 'personnel matters' is not listed as a reason in open meetings laws.
Mary Jo Wick, one of the 'concerned Jordan-Elbridge citizens' that posed the 58 questions, says the group needs to be able to feel that there's not an atmosphere of secrecy. She says the group also wants more involvement, that she's asked three times--with no response--to have members of the group assigned in Board committees. She also says that they've voted in 9 people, and don't want unanimous decisions all the time, but rather individual input. She says the concensus in her group is that some board members need to step down.
Also today, a new website that calls itself the unofficial watchdog of the Jordan-Elbridge Board of Education. It is from yet another group, watching the developments there.