“Through the eyes of my critics, I see mistakes have been made,” said Pam Teel, Superintendent of the Lincoln County School District, in a letter sent out to multiple entities June 3.
Teel made it clear in her letter that “closing [Meadow Valley Middle School] is no longer being considered a viable option at this time.” This will not stop the superintendent from trying to improve the school district, however, and she requested that parents and members of the community join the school board at a special workshop June 13, where administrators will offer another plan for consideration. No decisions will be made at that time, but they hope to keep the community better informed.
Teel responded to the rumors and comments made by the public concerning the possibility of closing the middle school.
“Mistake one was poor communication at all levels including mine,” she said, which was a common issue with the district’s plan over the last month. While meetings with administrators and the district personnel were held over the last few weeks, some parents felt like they weren’t getting the whole story, which culminated in a formal complaint against the superintendent at a workshop.
“Mistake two was rushing to change when the group was not ready,” Teel went on.
The superintendent made it clear through her statement that the reason behind the original idea was to help students going through the Summit Learning Platform to move on to the next grade’s work, hoping to get them working on subjects that match their learning level. This was requested by parents in the community, according to Teel, and she stated that she wanted to “honor that request.”
Another reason had to do with the high school. At the end of the 2019 school year, three teachers retired from Lincoln County High School, which means the school lost a quarter of their educators. This was a huge blow to the community, and through this plan, Teel was hoping to alleviate the issue by adding more teachers into the mix. This would, according to Teel, help keep a variety of classes open.
As for the survey that has been open since the parent and administrators meeting two weeks ago, the superintendent and the principals have been reading and considering the feedback they’ve received.
“I have listened to, read and acknowledged each of the public comments,” Teel stated, “as well as the comments made on the survey.” These comments and the results of the survey will be posted on the district website as well as its Facebook page.