Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
Patricia Slaughter, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Education, Denver Public Schools
Anne Rowe, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
Mary Seawell, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
Happy Haynes, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
Arturo Jimenez, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
Jeannie Kaplan, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
Andrea Mérida, Board of Education Member, Denver Public Schools
March 9, 2013
Denver Public Schools
900 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203
RE: Centennial ECE- 8 – Vote of No Confidence
Dear Superintendent Boasberg,
After much consideration, we feel compelled to formally lodge a vote of no confidence in Centennial’s principal, Laura Munro.
A vote of no confidence means that the community members do not believe that Laura Munro has the ability or willingness to make the changes necessary to become an effective leader. We urge you to take strong and immediate action to help us secure Centennial’s potential as a school of excellence and an engaged community of cooperation.
Building staff, faculty, parents and community members began feeling this discontent in 2011, the year she was hired. Many who have taken an active role at Centennial report a constant detached demeanor that pushes them and their families to other educational and volunteer opportunities elsewhere. The principal has shown zero capacity to reach out to the majority of the community and we have zero confidence that Laura Munro is the principal to provide the change that is needed for our students of Centennial.
· When Munro was hired the school was rated YELLOW. Now the school is RED, yet the in-effective Munro was given full power of our neighborhood school.
· On February 1st, the day AFTER the choice deadline, the community learned that more than 70% of the classroom teachers would not be returning to Centennial.
· Prospective new parents were told that the school would offer Montessori and were given classroom tours featuring teachers who WERE NOT re-hired. Some of those parents then CHOICED into Centennial, unaware of the imminent changes. Parents have expressed that they felt “tricked” into choicing into Centennial.
· Munro stated to the CSC committee (and to parents) that kindergarten classrooms were “outperforming district averages,” (Math- 84% Proficient and Reading – 85% Proficient) yet she did not re-hire any kindergarten teachers.
· More than one teacher not retained has stated that they were not evaluated and some not even observed by Ms. Munro.
· One teacher, just hired by Munro last spring, stated that she was told by Ms. Munro that the decision not to rehire her was NOT based on her pedagogy in the classroom, but because of her interview and an answer to an essay question.
· Several teachers did not reapply due to an intimidating e-mail about Innovation Status sent out by Munro.
· A number of Latino parents said they were frustrated because Munro never speaks to them and they didn’t feel welcome at the school. One of the speakers was a grandfather with 4 grandkids in the school.
· All agree that Munro is “rarely seen” and has never attended a PTA meeting.
· Centennial has had 0 lock-down drills this school year, even after the horror of Sandy Hook Elementary.
· Parents are frustrated (many to tears) that their child’s teacher is leaving and their student is FINALLY having academic success.
· Munro’s CSC committee is FAR from representative of her school population (roughly 80% Latino). The committee has zero Latinos parents, community members, or teachers.
Action is needed now to save our school from further destruction. Changes need to take place at Centennial and one of those changes must be the removal of Laura Munro. Please ensure that our children have the opportunity to take part in a neighborhood school that is led by an invested and effective principal.
Centennial Petitioners (Parents, Staff, and Community Members)