Jul 28, 2014
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LETTER: North Kingstown Educators Ready to Face Issues

A letter to the editor from the National Education Association North Kingstown.

LETTER: North Kingstown Educators Ready to Face Issues

The teachers of NEA North Kingstown would like to recognize and thank the parents, guardians, and students of our town for the effort and support in working with teachers as a team, which have resulted in excellent math and reading NECAP scores for the district.  NK students have improved a great deal, and it is further proof of the belief that it does “take a village.” In this case, all of us together.  Every day, it is this interaction between educators and families that fosters the success of our schools while enabling students to learn what it means to be an active member of their community.

During this school year, educators have been faced with a number of issues and challenges that have made the effective delivering of instruction more difficult than in the past.  One such change includes the way in which special education IEP meetings occur. Recently, a memo to all teachers stated, “no longer will the team of regular education teachers attend IEP meetings”.   No longer are all educators who instruct a child able to participate; further, “they (the TA) are not part of the team making decisions about the student”, so this process will not include teacher assistants at all.  IDEA special education regs. state that “at least one regular education teacher” be part of the IEP team.  This was put in the regs. to ensure that those delivering instruction were included, since they have the most expertise  in the classroom.  We would like to remind parents that we are here to help, and that parents ultimately have the power to request who they want to have at their child’s meeting.

Another issue is education initiatives such as the rush to give a PARCC test to students before the new common core is fully worked out in this state and in this district.  It comes at a time when our district is working and struggling to master new common core standards before materials and texts are even available, and have resulted in a mad dash to create proper materials to instruct effectively and lead to frustration for the students. 

We, the educators of North Kingstown, stand ready to do our part to move forward, and we invite parents and the rest of the school community to join us in facing these issues as a community for the best interest of every child.

Sincerely,

The Executive Board, NEANK


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