Petition to Dr. Livanis June 2012
We, the undersigned, are parents of students at NEST+m or are members of the NEST+m faculty, and we have several concerns that we would like you to address:
- 1. Teacher Ratings: You recently gave an "unsatisfactory" rating for the year to several NEST+m teachers, which jeopardizes the ability of such teachers to receive any pending pay increase or teach summer school or teach/coach afterschool activities the following school year.
- The percentage of NEST+m teachers to whom you gave a "U" rating far exceeds the DOE average in NYC as a whole. Please review your teacher ratings to determine if there are less punitive measures you could take and revise them accordingly. Also, only rarely do we hear you acknowledge/celebrate the contributions of our extraordinary faculty. We ask that you set the tone for our school community by communicating on a regular basis about the contributions and accomplishments of our faculty.
- 2. Lower School Specials: Last summer, you cut the funding/position of two of the Lower School "Specials" teachers, so our Lower School students had no "Dance" or "Chess/Technology" classes when school started last fall. Only when the PTA offered to pay for these two Specials teachers did the children regain access to these two classes. Please restore funding for these two Specials teachers so that all K-5 Lower School students have six Specials classes a week from the beginning of the year and the parents don't have to pay for them. Also, if you are considering changing the subject matter of any of the Specials classes, please seek the input of the Lower School parent body before you make any decisions.
- 3. Communication: Please review the results of the Learning Environment Surveys for the last few years with a focus on what parents and faculty say about communication from the school. Communication from the administration to parents and faculty needs to be greatly improved, and it needs to be more than just a list of important dates and times. Please work with your teachers and our elected parent leaders to identify what method of communication would be best for teachers and for the parent community.
- 4. Parent Coordinator: Chancellor Walcott recently announced with pride that every school K-8 has a full-time Parent Coordinator. Indeed, schools far smaller than ours have a full-time Parent Coordinator. However, at our school, the person with the title Parent Coordinator also has the full-time responsibilities of the Pupil Accounting Secretary. Please ensure that we have a full-time Parent Coordinator in place by the fall.
- 5. Non-Collaborative School Leadership Team (SLT): At the most recent PTA meeting, we heard from parent representatives both past and present that the NEST+m SLT is dysfunctional because you haven't shared detailed budget information (as required by regulation) for years and because the decision-making process isn't collaborative. It is important to us as parents that our SLT is an effective team and we ask that you provide the budget information that is necessary so that the team as a whole can collaboratively align the budget to support the Comprehensive Education Plan, as required by Chancellor’s Regulation.
Please work with us to address the concerns stated above so that, together, we can make NEST+m greater than ever.