A recent article in the CT Examiner reported that the policy governing admissions to magnet schools has been ignored for years to give teachers working at the school priority over Stamford tax-payers.
This is the current policy that has been in place since 2007:
You can view the current policy for yourself on page 122 of the 5000 series policy handbook:
This is the proposed change to the policy so that it will match the practice of the administration:
You can view the proposed policy change for yourself in the agenda from the May 9th policy meeting: drive.google.com/file/d/1Z9Dc4qQLDq-GrnlcwK4UYlLpvPUqm7TC/view
At the May 9th policy meeting Dr. Lucero said, “For clear transparency … this is our current practice. It just needs to be put into policy. We are … allowing staff members’ kids into the schools and have been since I came to the district” 10 years ago.
Lucero also stated during this meeting that "the teacher contract kind of spells out professional courtesy, so what we're attempting to do is equalize it for all of our teachers" (timestamp: 21:10)
We looked into the contract and could find NOTHING about professional courtesy or the benefit of any teacher to have their children attend the school where they work.
If we missed something, please let us know. The contract for teachers can be found here:
To be clear, at this time, our concern is less with the proposed policy change itself, and more with the fact that practice has been out of compliance with practice for so long.
Another disturbing aspect of this situation is the fact that not all of the available seats at these highly coveted magnet schools are even filled!
"In the 2017-18 school year, for instance, there were 118 kindergarteners at Strawberry Hill Magnet, the state data shows. But when those students reached Grade 5 this y"In the 2017-18 school year, for instance, there were 118 kindergarteners at Strawberry Hill Magnet, the state data shows. But when those students reached Grade 5 this y ear, they numbered only 91."
This is news to us since many of our members are currently on waitlists at magnet schools.
For example, Jennifer Harkins was struggling to get the appropriate services for her son who needed a smaller school and learning environment. "Last year I was pleading with the central office to get my son in, but I was told by everyone I talked to that they do not make any exceptions for any reason and pointed me to the district policy."
The Harkins family, like so many other families in Stamford, were left with little choice but to pull their son from the district.
Perhaps, it makes sense to offer teachers the benefit of brining their children to school with them, though to be sure, we would like to see a vigorous debate given the many competing interests.
For now, we have lots of questions:
Why has Dr. Lucero's administration been so brazenly out of compliance for so long?
Why are so many seats left unfilled in the magnets schools?
Why can't we find anything about this professional courtesy in the teacher contract?
Why is it an acceptable excuse to suggest that this was the way it was done when I got here, so I just went along with it?
When does the state SPS become the responsibility of Dr. Lucero and not that of the people who came before her?
These are the questions we need answered. We need your help finding the answers.
Click here for e-mail addresses: