Friday is going to be a hard day in Ypsilanti and Willow Run.
Teachers. . . all those teachers who were pink slipped earlier this spring. . . will get their final papers, which will tell them if they've been hired; not hired but could be hired later if student numbers permit; or not hired ever.
And you might think, "Well that's too bad, but it's prudent of the new district to not hire too many teachers back, because who knows how many students will join the new Ypsilanti Community Schools." Sure, I understand that. It is prudent. Although originally I had heard that 80% of the teachers would be re-hired, more recently I have heard that it will be a much smaller number.
Unfortunately, late breaking news that I have gotten says that the new YCS district did not follow its own process in hiring teachers.
From the Ypsilanti Community Schools Supporters facebook page, I learned that:
An email from Bob Galardi on March 22, 2013 to teachers said:
References - We will be reviewing over 250 applicants. Some applicants have submitted numerous references. Our plan is to contact references personally. We can't call everyone you have listed. With that in mind we will contact three (3) per candidate. We will use select three from the references on your application unless you wish to specify three you'd like us to contact.However, numerous teachers are now saying that not a single professional reference of theirs was contacted.
Teachers are also saying that they were not allowed to submit letters of recommendation during the interview process.
What does all this mean? If these claims are substantiated, I would guess that it means the new Ypsilanti Community Schools will find itself in a morass of litigation, and that is not a good way to get started.
Also--apparently tonight--the night before these notices are going out--there was a special meeting on ideas for how to help the teachers through this. Really? The night before, and YCS is just now convening a meeting on how to help the teachers?
In a great irony, Staff Appreciation Week is next week.
Many of you are at schools where the PTO or another group has a plan for staff appreciation. (At Ann Arbor Open, at least one plan involves providing a lot of pies to the staff.) You can participate.
Take this opportunity to write a note to a teacher telling them what you like about their work (or about them as people).
Take this opportunity to write a note to a custodian, front office staff person, principal, or other staff person.
And in Ypsilanti and Willow Run on Friday and next week especially, remember--a kind word will go a long way.