2008-02-22 - 11:51 a.m.
Excuse me for being a bit snarky, but I can't just let this go as it is too ironic. Considering I get criticized for getting my girls to school 5 minutes late and that is treated like a mortal sin of education, I find this e-mail and my imagined response amusing.
I am being good though as I will not comment to another parent or send my imagined response to the principal, but rather just vent about it here for amusement. HERE IS THE HILARIOUS E-MAIL:
Another Accommodation for #*^$^&$$* Elementary School
I recently received a copy of a memo that Dr. Hatrick received from the Virginia State Department of Education commending four elementary schools in Loudoun County for being Fully Accredited for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, two consecutive years, with a passing rate of 95% or above in each of the four core academic areas of mathematics, English, science, and history. I am happy to inform you that *(&^&*% is one of the four. Schools which achieve this exemplary performance are eligible for a waiver from annual accreditation for a three-year period.
This is *&*&(^*^ second recognition this year as I previously shared with you that we were one of three LCPS elementary schools to receive the Governor's Award for Educational Excellence. This speaks volumes for the students we have , the excellent parental involvement we are blessed with, and the outstanding group of teachers who work with your students. What a wonderful combination!
It gives me great pride to share this information with you.
I hope you are enjoying your "ice" day and have a wonderful weekend.
DEAR Principal (YES WITH A "PAL" RATHER THAN "PLE" AS YOU ARE OUR PAL !)
The informative e-mail you sent out did not clarify what accommodation was necessary for our exceptionally small school to receive such an outstanding commendation of distinction. Was it forgiving that the faculty do not ALWAYS know word usage and grammar, or perhaps was it weighing our small school's test scores differently than done in the rest of the world? That has been done in the past (as in the example of when one child of mine failed the SOLS one year in which our fine school ALSO received an award of distinction. In the interest of giving this small school a chance to compete against the bigger fish in the Loudoun Pond, I am sure the accommodation THAT YEAR of responding to my inquiry of whether my child should attend summer school or would be have to be prepared to discuss repeating the grade, by then THROWING OUT THOSE TEST SCORES and socially advancing was well justified by those interested in BOTH education and real estate values. OH yes! It was a wonderful learning experience for my child who learned of the connection between the two that year- material not every student gets to cover at such a young age! This must be justifiable as with a smaller class size the weight of any one child's test score is that much higher than of any one child's score in a larger school) Or, was it an accommodation to forgive that SOME STUDENTS arrive 5 minutes late consistently, which of course could malign the character of the WHOLE SCHOOL? Somehow that was forgiven and our fine school was STILL able to receive this distinctive honor this year! I AM SO PROUD, but also curious as I have not found the school to be open to being accommodating of anyone's special needs in particular and have noticed a trend that those students with unique needs tend to leave and go elsewhere (or stay and for some reason get socially ostracized. I will never forget the tremendous thanks when my daughter invited the very sweet but hyper ADHD kid to her birthday party and I realized the poor kid was socially out of the loop. I will never forget the negative attitude and critical words I heard some TEACHERS remark of that child's wonderful parents whose only parenting "failing" seemed to me to be to have a child who was different!) Is this a positive sign of social change, or merely an indication that our principal is stronger in math than language arts and our small school has STILL not improved in the area of teaching language arts and grammar despite the fact JACK FEEGLE who recently ran for the school board (AND LOST) in our area made a big issue and goal to improve this years ago? At that time I thought it not so kind to be so darn hard on the school and thought it is at least a source of good clean humor which we ALSO NEED MORE OF! (Many school memos were a source of humor for misused word usage over the years.) Thanks for the laugh!
** I must add that I DO THINK that this school has a WONDERFUL principal despite his imperfections!
**UPDATE The principal did send out a corrected e-mail noting the error and his fallibility! One has to appreciate his humility , good humor and personal accountability which are indeed hallmarks of all truly great leaders.