The faculty members of Houston High School have united to protect the rights of our students, our community, our school, and our professional livelihood. We are disappointed and concerned with current transitional processes and procedures of the unified district board and leaders and we are prepared to defend our rights concerning any policy, procedure, or protocol that we feel is not in the best interest of our students. Please respond immediately to each of our concerns.
Items of Concern:
1. Emails from the unified district – We believe vague emails from the unified district requiring us to complete any training for said district are unprofessional. At this time and until the 30th of July 2013, we are contracted by Shelby County Schools, not the unified district. We have completed our Professional Development requirements for our current contracts and are not obligated to any other agreements.
2. Surveys from the unified district – We believe the online surveys for the unified district should be eliminated until we are supplied with not only the results of ALL previous surveys, but also how the results have been considered and analyzed. How will these results be implemented in the new system? We do not feel that we should have to adopt the policies, procedures, and protocols of a larger system with too many failing practices. We are certain those schools need and want a new direction also.
3. Scheduling – We MUST have schedules to start school on day one, August 5, 2013.
4. Teaching – We need to know the definite procedures for involuntary/voluntary transfers for teachers before the transfer date.
5. Staffing ratio – We need to know the staffing numbers for next year. How many teachers/staff will each school have? Who will have jobs? Who will not? How many students will each school have per class? We need the numbers of students to let teachers know about how to prepare for next year’s classes.
6. Employment – We were told that some teachers/staff would not know about their employment for the 2013-2014 school year until July 1st. This is too late. Many teachers will choose to seek employment elsewhere.
7. Students - We feel that all of the focus of the unified district is on the students of the Memphis City Schools. This is not fair to the students of the Shelby County Schools. These students and parents need adequate information in order to determine whether they will continue to be a part of the unified school system or go to independent or private schools.
8. Communication and updates – We should not have to check websites to see if information has been posted concerning our jobs. Application processes to keep our jobs or required training for our jobs need to be supplied and explained by administrators of the individual schools of MCS and SCS.
9. Employment – We believe that tenured teachers from MCS and SCS should not have to reapply for their jobs. If tenured teachers are surplussed for administrative reasons, this needs to be done as soon as possible so that the transfer process can be completed before May 24.