Step by step gets the job done

By Brian Whiston
Do you remember learning to ride a bike or teaching a child how to ride a bike? It usually starts with riding a tricycle, then a bike with training wheels. The next step is to take one of the training wheels off the bike, and finally, someone will steady the bike, only letting go once the rider is balancing on their own.

The key to success, in not only learning how to ride a bike, but in all types of activities in our work and social lives, is following a step-by-step process.

Our district has an enrollment process, an employment process and a grading process, just to name a few, that ensure the smooth operation of our schools. When things don’t go according to plan, we also have a process in place to solve problems and make corrections.

As a parent, if you have a concern, question or a more serious issue regarding your child, it’s important for you to know that the district has a process in place to help you resolve these matters.

Your child’s teacher is the best place to start. They are the expert when it comes to your child’s classroom experience, and the best person to start with when you have a concern. If the issue is between your child and a teacher, then the next person who can provide help is the building principal.

Principals have the advantage of knowing the teacher, student and other building related conditions. Ninety-five percent of the time the teacher and principal, working together with the parent and student, will be successful at solving the problem.

However, in those circumstances where further intervention is necessary, the next step would be to contact the associate superintendent for Secondary Education for students in grades six through 12 and the associate superintendent for Elementary Education for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Working with one of the associate superintendents, parents will most likely be able to reach a reasonable solution that benefits the education of the child.

In the unlikely event that a parent still doesn’t have a satisfactory resolution to a problem, then a discussion with the superintendent would be the next step in the process.

Finally, there may be a time when a parent feels that they have exhausted all resources available to them and informs the Board of Education about their particular situation in order to reach a conclusion. This is usually done by sending a letter or e-mail to the board or sharing thoughts during a board meeting.

Although it is understandable that some people feel “taking it to the top” right away is the best way to get answers, the Board of Education’s role is to refer the matter back to the superintendent so that he can address the concern.

We encourage parents to be an active part of their child’s education and take full advantage of the tools that are in place to communicate with teachers, principals, administrators and the Board of Education. Following a well-developed process is the best way to get results and reach a successful outcome for everyone.