Monday, April 4, 2011

And now...layoffs

Got a notice someone posted on the blog - odd, and I assume it is the spouse, but they were asleep. Later, another comes in. I've been hearing rumblings, and thought it worth looking into, and WOW. Holy Cross School has announced layoffs for next year - 5 teachers and some staff (no, not Denise). Some of these are "for a year or two"....and if you believe that, I've got some swamp land behind the ELC to sell you. The reason given is the economy, which one can't totally ignore, but there are many other factors going into this - none good for the long term health of Holy Cross School. I would be a bit more accepting of the company line if they hadn't stopped asking people why they left about the time Denise came on board. Can't imagine why. No, this is a bit more then that. This is the beginning of the end of the school (and apologies to those who think the ending started with the closing of the high school), and I guess you've got the right person in place to oversee the collapse of a school. You'll see more changes, more layoffs, more cutbacks, more and more desperate fund raisers (tough to see how they can get more desperate, though), and finally...the end. I mean, really....if you start trying to cut back on the school lunch program, already woefully inadequate compared to the public school system, or latch-key, you'll see less and less people considering Holy Cross as a school. Hell, even announcing these layoffs will cause some to think twice about starting their kids at Holy Cross. Now, there is a move afoot to save some teachers, but I think it is a fruitless task. First, if they are cutting that many, it means either enrollment really has dropped off, or the church subsidy has been cut. If you save Mr. or Mrs. "x", someone else has to go. Further, you might want to check around before you try to "save" these people too hard. I ran into one of the targeted teachers about a month ago, and they weren't happy, even then. Although they didn't come out and say it, they were not planning on returning to Holy Cross, even then...the enviornment had gotten too poisionous, so you might just be pulling the rabbit out of the briar patch if you try to "save" them.


The Quizzinator said...

Sorry about the formatting...they've changed a few things since I've posted last.

Anonymous said...

Will the Diocese of Wilmington completely abandon elementary education below the canal? When HCS folds next year - what is going to happen?

The Quizzinator said...

Catholic education is in for a rocky road. I suspect Denise simply hastened the demise by about 5 years. They'll hang around for a few years, they will re-invent themselves a few times, but what has been lost will be impossible to regain-certainly as long as Denise is in charge.

The Quizzinator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Donna J Your children do not even attend HCS so you should direct your attention to your new public school where im sure they welcome your expertice advice and wise educational knowledge and background .Come to STMP and be amazed at the class of 2011 and their college acceptance.HCS has produced wonderful students.I pray your children are also blessed and sucesssful i have 2 masters degee in education and wouldn't begin to Question your opioions

The Quizzinator said...

Wrong...but please try again. You've only got 100 or so unhappy people to guess.

The Quizzinator said...

Besides, we aren't talking about high school, we're talking about elementary. I really could care less about STMP's college acceptance rates....and the full Jacono hasn't been felt yet, either.

Anonymous said...

Got the automated call on Friday about a propaganda meeting on Monday. Not sure whether I will attend. My children seem unaffected right now. But am very concerned about what will happen in the coming years.

Anonymous said...

In response to the person who addressed “Donna J”. I debated if I wanted to respond to their accusation that I was the blog administrator, and finally decided that I wanted to clarify this misperception. I won’t deny posting sometimes, but my comments were never cruel as some have been. I found the allegation a bit humorous because I had also been accused of calling the “postcard meeting”. Although I was openly dissatisfied with the principal’s behavior toward others, I am not responsible for either allegation.

I did address my concerns by speaking to Father Dan twice. I also spoke to Mrs. Mann from the Education Office when she came to the school. When I realized that the situation would not improve, I made the difficult decision to leave. I never felt that this was an easy choice because my children had attended since 1st grade and I had been very involved for 8 years – helping with Teacher Appreciation Week, writing a grant to improve safety and security within the school, and serving on the PTO. I sincerely did (and do) care about the teachers and parents there. However, I knew that leaving was the best choice for us.

Upon leaving, I never received an exit survey which had been traditionally done in the past. When I asked others who left the same year, none of them had received one either. Several months later, I contacted the school office to request one. I completed it along with a letter to Father. My survey had a box asking if I wished to be contacted. I checked “yes”, but never received a call. As I clearly stated in my letter, I did not leave because I “moved” (yes, I actually heard that reason), I did not leave “due to finances”, I did not leave because “I didn’t get my way”, and I did not leave because “I didn’t like change”.

For those who say that they believe the children do not feel the effects, I would disagree. I heard many parents say that the teachers seemed to be in bad moods more often. I would say that there was a direct relationship to what was happening and how they were treated. My own child would come home and tell me stories of teachers going to the office and coming back to the classroom in tears. Even if a faculty member is not performing in a suitable manner and needs to be let go, there is no excuse for the kinds of behavior that occurred. .

Watching a very strained situation for the faculty and parents those last few years – the mistrust of others, backstabbing, individuals being humiliated in front of students, the silent treatment to those who questioned, physical ailments due to stress, and parents afraid to speak because of possible retribution to their child; I knew it was time to leave. It was a very dysfunctional environment. I can’t tell you the emotional burden that left me upon leaving the school.

At first, I worried about how my children would adjust, but they have done quite well. I have also had very good experiences with the teachers at our new schools. They are dedicated and care about the kids. The main difference is that they seem more relaxed and less stressed than the school we left.

In response to your comment that I should get involved with my children’s new schools - I am certainly very involved. Every day I email out the announcements to the parents at my daughter’s school. I attend PTO meetings and I am helping organize Teacher Appreciation Week next week. I know firsthand how hard all teachers work. I was and continue to remain involved with their schools.

It has been almost two years since we left Holy Cross and although I miss the teachers and parents, I know I made the best decision. To Anonymous or anyone else for that matter, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Former Holy Cross Parent,

Donna J.

The Quizzinator said...

I hever got a chance to comment, but find it odd that no one else did, either.

DJ...appreciate you coming forward. I've been often asked if you were the poster on thsi board, and had to keep a straight face when they asked. I know you had some sympathy for these views, if not the methods, but thanks for your efforts!