Parent JC Thoumire writes us and copies an e-mail he sent the Board.
I decided to put you on copy of message I sent to the board to reply to an earlier message from the board. I used my wife's e-mail address as I should not involve my Company through use of my business e-mail address. I am frustrated as most parents are, and also disappointed at the turn of events yesterday. The board or at least its president missed an opportunity to defuse the situation, open dialogue, stop the flow of rumors and accusations. The current board appears ineffective and unable to handle a crisis to the best interest of the school.
From: Rapeah Abas Thoumire
Dear members of the board,
" we will inform you in the near future regarding the matter"??? This is not the first time this week that the board refers to "near future". This is so vague and empty of meaning that it can only further convince me that the board is at a loss at what to do.
I am a father of a grade 1 child who cancelled two meetings yesterday aft6ernoon to attend a 3 PM meeting at the ISM to listen to what the faculty and administration had to say, with respect to the recent events.
I hoped to see members of the board present to address the issues raised by both the parents and the faculty, or present to us the board's perspective. I hoped but did not see anybody excepted the shadow of the board president at the entrance of the HS gymnasium. But I understand she preferred to leave rather than come to the floor and demonstrate her legitimacy.
So, what does "near future" mean? How many more days of uncertainty, and misinformation do the children, the faculty and the parents have to face? What is offered to them to see, hear and comment about is a bad soap opera that made its ways to the general public in a newspaper article.
Article 1 of the Appendix A of the ISM board policy manual states that " A trustee understands and supports the I.S. Statement of Mission and philosophy".
Article 8 states that" A trustee respects the prescribed limitation of his/her authority. He/she does not attempt to issue unilateral directives to the superintendent (a function of the board as a body) or to Administrators (a function of the superintendent".
Article 10 states that " a trustee, as a governor of an institution dedicated to the education of young persons, makes every effort to model the highest moral and ethical standards in his/her personal and professional life"
What I heard yesterday from the faculty, administration of the schools makes me believe that the board, collectively or individually, broke each of these articles.
Policy 2010 "board management connection" states that that the "board's sole direction in the operational organization is through the Superintendent. the superintendent is responsible for for all aspects related to the day to day operation of the school"
policy 1010 article 1 describes the powers, duties and responsibilities of the board. It does not states taking ownership of day-to-day aspects of the school. it is all about philosophy, direction, strategy...10,000 feet high not ground 0.
Policy 1035 covers Community relations, meaning parents and the general community. Article 1035.2 b states " effective gathering of patron attitudes and reactions about the school, for information to the board". Where is the effectiveness when the board does not voluntarily accept to meet with Parents, or its president shows up to leave within minutes, not even noticing that some of us would have recognized her?
Article 1035.2 c talks about anticipation. Anticipation implies proactive, clear communication which is obviously absent to this day.
Article 1035.2. g is self explanatory " providing an honest, timely, continuous, comprehensive flow of information about the policies, procedures, programs, problems and progress of the school to the Community and the staff"....that alone would have justified the board to meet on Sept 5 with the parents and the faculty.
I could go on and on, and I believe the board could object to some of my comments or bring to light other policies and articles to support their decisions and the acts of individual members of teh board. Unfortunately, the board did not consider that as a father of a grade 1 child, I was worth receiving an explanation on September 5, an dthat I should satisfy myself with a " in the near future".
Besides my current General Management functions, I am also the Regional Business Practices Officer for the US Company I work for. I regularly have to investigate allegations, rumors or facts similar to those currently happening at the ISM. Ethics, Corporate governance and Ethical management, compliance and proper disclosure of non complaince, fair treatment of employees, confidentiality of personal information, effective communication are notions that the ISM board of trustees appear not to be aware of or purposedly ignore.
"In the near future" should mean September 7, for the sake of our children. You hold the key to defuse the situation. Please make good use of it