Showdown At The Christina Corral

In what is promising to be an epic board meeting tonight, the Christina School District is facing an onslaught of issues, all at once.  These are the biggest items facing them tonight:

-The leave of absence of Superintendent Dr. Freeman Williams and the whole thorny issue over last week’s executive session going over his “competencies” and the legality of it.

-The recent guilty verdict of board member Shirley Saffer’s harassment of a bus driver a year and a half ago.

-Christina’s budget and the unfortunate letting go of over 100 employees, as well as future referendum discussion.

-Declining enrollment due to choice and charters and the impact that is having on the district.

-Tension between board members.  Will the topic of two board members tipping off the state auditor to do an investigation against the district come up?  It should!  As well, reports have surfaced that one board member (could be included as one of the above two) has been acting unilaterally with important matters such as removing a posting for a deputy Superintendent and meeting with local legislators and business leaders on the whole redistricting effort.

-Board Member Elizabeth Paige has an opt-out policy on the agenda which will get into the whole high-stakes testing discussion.

-Tension between the district and the board will surely reach a fever pitch in the coming weeks as school starts and the impact of the budget crunch will be felt in every facet of student’s lives.

-The redistricting effort to remove Christina’s Wilmington schools from their authority and place them under Red Clay Consolidated’s control.

10 thoughts on “Showdown At The Christina Corral

  1. What a childish bunch – I think every parent/taxpayer should attend a CSD board meeting, not only would they vote down future referendums, they would join the movement to get their children out of CSD.

    I feel sorry for the real workers (educators, staff, etc) in the district if that is they type of leadership that is in place.

    So sad, and does not seem like any hope of it improving in the future

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    • The building level leadership is excellent in many cases. The board is fractured, and there are serious concerns about central leadership (not only that the superintendent is on leave). Day to day, for many teachers and students, the principal is the leader who matters most. But yes, these other serious issues have to be resolved for the district’s students, staff and taxpayers.

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      • I agree! The principals are also in the trenches with us, and many of them are just as frustrated with the central leadership. The Superintendents, and others making important decisions, need to come out into the trenches on a regular basis (not just once a year, with their clipboards, to check if “essential questions” are being posted). It will not be easy… but, I whole-heartedly believe that this district can be turned around!

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  2. I posted this on Kilroys and add here. I am an employee of the district, parent of a special needs child in the district, and a taxpayer of the Christina School District. I was appalled last night with what I witnessed at the meeting, which i did stay until 12:30 am to observe. I was embarrassed for the school board and our district. The first hour of the meeting was a debaucle discussing what the board was going to do about an acting superintendent. Mrs. Minnehan, the president, appears from her comments, to already have an idea of the person would like to name. ?!! It was slightly comical in a very sad way that no one seemed on that stage seemed to know what was going on. Very unprofessional. Let’s do a DPAS on the board! I wil say, however, Mrs. Paige and Mr. Ressler seem to be voices of reason. They were professional and logical in their statements. I typically agree with Mr. Young, but the bickering and petty comments between he and Mrs. Minnehan made him seem very childish. Mr. Polaski was falling asleep and then asked “one more question” at least 15 times about things that had already been clarified. Mrs. Saffer just got up and walked off the stage to go home. This is what we are electing????????
    And please don’t even get me started about the ex board member who stood in the back of the room smiling at the board, taking pictures or video, and acting like a socially inept person. Why didn’t you stay for the entire meeting, instead of asking Kevin now on here. “Give us the rundown” . You made quite the spectacle of yourself for those of us in the audience who know who you are. Same person who made a comment to me after being introduced at a gathering, stating “Oh I AM your boss!” Um, no dear, you were on the board, you were not MY boss!
    Unreal….rant over. At least I get to return to school in 2 weeks with professionals. Maybe the board should come to our PLCS or staff meetings and see how it is done. They have much to learn.

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  3. Good God Newark Mom!

    Yes, on my way home from work, I ran by the meeting. I stayed about 30 minutes, standing in the back, bc I didn’t want to disrupt the pretty full rows of guests. I didnt even make it all the way through the boards discussion of the interim super position.

    1. You are welcome to call me socially inept. I have never argued differently. I work hard to deal with my ineptitude. My smile? I was aghast by what I saw on the stage. It wasn’t a happy face. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the way my head nods from side to side or how my hands shake. Those are both gifts from my great uncle Al whose neurological defect I inherited. What other disabilities would you like me discuss? Perhaps the 5 shattered or compressed vertebrae in my back and the nerve damage that shows in a limp I’m often too tired to suppress? Go ahead, List your questions here.

    2. As to the I’m your boss comment, I can’t for the life of me remember ever making one. And if I did, I surely would have meant it in jest. During my four yrs on the board, I was clear that I had one and only one employee, of whom I was 1/7th the employer, and an entire community to whom I was responsible. Regardless, for offending you, I do apologize.

    3. I took two grainy photos, no flash. I am entitled. I left bc I promised my children that I’d be home for bedtime.

    4. I live in CSd and pay taxes. My daughter will reach high school in just over a year. what happens in this district is important to me. However if you represent csd’s vision of and for the socially inept (she’s even more affected than me, autism and all), Perhaps I should enroll her in a school or district where the disabled are valued not criticized and attacked.

    Pathetic.

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  4. The district thinks that the drop in enrollment is due to test scores, academics, etc. The majority of CSD parents are enrolling their children in charter schools/other districts due to classroom interruptions because of negative behaviors of other students. Those parents want their children to have a safe and nurturing, learning environment.

    The CSD school board and district administrators need to regain the trust of the parents, students, educators, and other staff members. We need strong leaders; not people who have agendas to push or personal vendettas against others!!! Come down from your ivory towers and learn what is really going on in our classrooms! In 2 weeks, I will have 11 more students on my class roster; and 8 of them exhibit extreme behaviors. Open your ears and eyes before it is too late to revive this floundering district!

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