Remember a year ago when I met with Dr. Wardynski and asked him if the district would be ready to meet IEPs on the first day of school? Remember when his response to that question was, “I don’t know.” Of course, this was back when Dr. Wardynski was still new and concerned about actually answering questions from the public.
Tonight he let the public and the school board know that there are people in the district whom he simply will not talk to. He said:
I freely admit that there is people who I will not talk to anymore. They’re a complete waste of my time. I’ve talked to them until I’m blue in the face. I’ve got a lot to accomplish. I’m working seven days a week. Most time at night till ten o’clock. Uh, if my requirement is to answer every phone call, and everybody who calls me and emails me, no matter how many times and how ridiculous, uh, we’re gonna be in a job hunt.
I suppose this is why he never responds to any of my questions anymore. Nice of him to let me know. Just in case you’re wondering, Dr. Wardynski has responded to basically two questions that I’ve asked him in a year’s time. The first response was “I don’t know.” The second was, “Then su . . . then you have recourse.” That’s it. Hard to imagine those responses causing him to go “blue in the face,” isn’t it?
But then maybe he wasn’t talking about me during his tirade. Maybe others in the city have been bothering him more during his seven days a week work schedule.
Just imagine if a teacher said this to Dr. Wardynski. I am certain that he would attempt to fire such a teacher for insubordination, aren’t you?
Honestly, even Dr. Robinson, who normally goes out of her way to support everything the superintendent has to say, seemed caught off guard. She quickly changed the subject.
Once Again IEPs Won’t Be Met
As I shared with the board in my comments last night, the more things change, the more they stay exactly the same.
Once again, we are facing the beginning of a school year, albeit two weeks later than we expected, and once again the district is not prepared to meet the requirements of the IEPs of special needs students.
This past Tuesday, on EPSCO’s Facebook wall, they posted:
The board and superintendent in their infinite wisdom have decided to wait until the Friday before school starts to let people know who will be employing our Instructional Assistants this year.
As I’ve mentioned many times both here on the blog and at the board meetings, much of the disruption that my son had to endure came from the way the district hires the Instructional Aides who assist the teacher in teaching him. I’ve begged the board and the superintendent to please review and revise the way they handle these hirings. Their response to this request is to postpone the hiring of Instructional Assistants until the last business day before school starts.
It’s so nice when public officials are responsive to the public, isn’t it?
As I said to them last night, waiting until August 17th to make a decision about this is putting our children, once again, at risk. The likely scenario here is that once again our classrooms will be understaffed on the first day of school. Once again our children will not have the resources that they need to even be safe in the classrooms. Once again because of the decisions of this superintendent and this board, our children’s lives will be disrupted simply because they have failed to do their job in a timely manner.
They seem to have no problem working and approving contracts with Teach for America, Pearson, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and hundreds of contractors and developers in this town. But once again special education students are being left out in the cold.
Training For Everyone But Instructional Assistants
My son’s IEP requires that the district provide ninety minutes of training in how to appropriately work with students on the spectrum twice a year. This training will cost next to nothing as it will likely be provided by people who are already employed by the district as Autism Coordinators. In other words, all I’ve requested is that the district use the money they’ve already spent to help improve my son’s classroom experience just a little bit.
But even that small and insignificant request is too much.
It seems that no request is too small when it comes to educating children on the spectrum.
On the other hand, last night the superintendent and the board were bragging about how their new teachers are receiving five days of training before school starts. They were bragging about how Pearson is about to send fifty people into the district to train teachers how to teach using their software at a cost of $1,107,463 this year alone.
All I’m asking the district to do is make a decision about which company they want to use in a timely fashion.
Even a request as small as, “Could you please just do your job?,” seems to make Dr. Wardynski go blue in the face.
I know how you feel, sir. I know how you feel.