Dear Dr. Myra Smith,
We are sending you this e-mail out of concern for a decision made by Mrs. Bunyan to move Mr. Van Eyk to a different grade level for the upcoming 2014-15 academic school year. We understand that as the principal she has the responsibility for making these types of decisions. We also know that due to circumstances out of her control teachers do need to be moved for next year. We feel the decision to move Mr. Van Eyk is incorrect for two reasons, the first is in regard to Mr. Van Eyk’s health, and secondly, it would not be putting the academic success of the students first at Greenwood Elementary.
Mr. Van Eyk, who has taught for MCPS for 21 years and at Greenwood for 12 years, was diagnosed with Leukemia last year. He currently is in partial remission and is being closely monitored by a team of physicians including his oncologist. Mr. Van Eyk’s oncologist has expressed in a letter to MCPS that it was in the best interest of his recovery to minimize stress. We would like Mrs. Bunyan to reconsider moving Mr. Van Eyk, and allow him to continue teaching first grade. Those of us who have had the privilege of having our children educated by Mr. Van Eyk, know of his dedication to his students, and the strong reading and math foundations he develops in his students. At this time Mr. Van Eyk needs support while his body recovers and continues to heal, what he does not need is the additional stress of learning a new grade level curriculum.
First grade is paramount for children, establishing the critical reading and mathematical foundation, which is a key indicator for future success. Keeping Mr. Van Eyk in his current position will help to ensure continuity for the first grade, while mitigating the impact that a move may have on his health. There are many other qualified, healthy individuals who could make the change in place of Mr. Van Eyk. We know that two of the current first grade teachers are pregnant and will be on maternity leave at some point. The other first grade teacher is new and lacks the experience and institutional knowledge that Mr. Van Eyk has as an educator and, in previous years, as the first grade team leader. By maintaining his position he can provide cohesiveness in the first grade team while the other teachers are out on maternity leave.
In light of these reasons we believe it is in the best interest of Greenwood Elementary School and Mr. Van Eyk that you reconsider his placement for next year. Thank you for your time and consideration.