Former Trustee Dale Rutstein provided a copy of this email exchange.
Thank you for your personal reply to my emailed letter to the Board. Your note in response together with all the Board's recent responses to letters from teachers, administrators and parents are inadequate. They inidicate an unwillingness to address the real issues. I am shocked that you seem to think "improving communication style" is what is needed. The other vague measures you outline do very little to boost my confidence that the Board can handle this growing crisis of confidence. Furthermore, you avoided the central request, which was to release the letter from the whole leadership team explaining the reasons for its resignation from the Education Commitee. You have now formally stated to the community that the resignations of the two Board members were due to "personal reasons." This is worse than avoiding the truth, it is simply dishonest.
I believe the current board has arrived with the intention of becoming a top layer of ISM management,: a course for disaster. It is a gross distortion of the patron's right to participate in school governance to take the view that Board members are the supervisors of the administration. The only reason this has happened is that a small group of malcontents, each with an axe to grind over narrow personal interests, have been able to effectively confuse and manipulate a sizable portion of patrons who are unfamiliar or uninterested in the tradition of participatory school governance.
You do not at all address the serious problems piling up and leading to a mass exodus of administrators, teachers, parents and students from the school. You have to do much more than set a new communication style, which is like putting a coat of glossy paint on rotten boards.
I am willing to discuss this at any time.. I am willing to help find volunteers to serve on the Board, but only ones that I believe will stop the process of teachers leaving the school en mass - the central problem we all face.
In my opinion that would mean the following:
1. Martin Lamb, Tom Navasero and Hans Bruner would have to personally and publically apologize to David Toze and rescind their improper statements and ultimatums issued to him. They would have to state that they understand that the Board has the power to select and not renew the Superintendent's contract but this in no way implies that he takes directions on day to day managment of the school from the Board, its members or Commitees.
2. The Board would have to cease from blatantly distorting the truth and take actions to build confidence.. You have to state: a) the Board will not seek to intervene in the administration of the school, b) it has confidence in the direction that the leadership team and faculty have taken the school, c) there are no precipitous changes of policy foreseen and d) that it will work in a cooperative and consultative manner with all stakeholders to find effective solutions to the current crisis facing the school
I am copying this to www.ismstakeholders.com
Thank you Dale, for your letter of concern. The Board is concerned as well and are dealing with the issues at this very moment. We are in touch with the Leadership Team and are committed to keeping a relationship of trust with them. We are meeting as a Board to address the issue of vacancy within the Board. We are addressing the personal reasons of Burke and Rowina and working towards improving ourselves concerning communication styles. We are working on communication. We just passsed the resolution of making agenda and minutes readily available to members of the corporation. We are working with the Leadership Team to have a forum with Teachers. Next probably would be parents.
I would be happy to discuss if there is an opportune time that I can talk to you. Chris raised the idea of talking to you about anyone you would know who would be interested in volunteering for the Board. I know it may be bold of me to ask and I may be judged as being silly for asking given your disappointments with the current board. I would understand if it is not something you would like to discuss with me.