Latoya Coleman 0

We're in it for Winitt... Rehire Ms. Winitt!!

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This petition is to encourage the board of trustees at Lighthouse Academies and Bronx Lighthouse Charter School (BLCS) to reconsider rehiring Ms. Winitt back as the K-8 principal for BLCS.

Ms. Winitt was hired in July 2014 as the K-8 principal at BLCS, following an academic school year in which half of the faculty was released and/ or resigned from their positions. During the 2014-15 school year, Ms. Winitt has hired an extraordinary team of administrators and teachers, whose projected scores for the NWEA and New York State assessments in ELA and Math demonstrate significant growth from the previous years. In addition, Ms. Winitt has helped many families by purchasing uniforms, providing winter coats to scholars in need, and assisting families in crisis, such as the family of one of our scholars who experienced great loss after a fire to their brand new home. With the actions above, a family at BLCS was forged.

On Friday, June 26, 2015, the last day of school, the BLCS family was informed that due to confidential data collected Ms. Winitt was being released from her position as principal of BLCS.

Current literature and studies reflect the negative effects of leadership and teacher turnover on student achievement. In the article The Effects of Chronic Teacher Turnover on School Climate and Organization, ( it is highlighted how the lack of consistency can impacted scholars not only emotionally but also academically, thus negatively impacting their overall success. Within the last two years our K-8 scholars have had four principals and each year, the principals have set forth different expectations for success, while, leaving our scholars and families resistant to trusting and establishing relationships with leadership and staff due to beliefs that another turnover will occur.

Turnover of any kind can result in reduced overall school achievement. In another article, Examining Principal Turnover ( high principal turnover is discussed and points out how principal turnover often leads to greater teacher turnover which has a negative impact on student and school wide achievement. Another result of principal turnover are teachers not investing in any school wide change wholeheartedly because they themselves are suffering and may be simply “waiting out the principal." Therefore, teacher development suffers which will clearly impact the success of our scholars.

Our scholars' and families' stability and trust have once again been disrupted due to confidential data collected which resulted in Principal Winitt's termination. The termination not only impacts the scholars and teachers, but the entire community, as this is another turnover in leadership that may cause revocation or termination of the charter during BLCS’s renewal in June 2016.

To the board of trustees, please truly consider the impact you will have on this community in which you aspire to build.

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