Dear Mount Si High School Students and Parents,
As you know, events at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. assembly have sparked questions and concerns from students, parents, and community patrons. Once again, I want to apologize for the impact of these events on our students.
A letter sent home with all Mount Si High School students on Friday, February 1,2008 from Superintendent Joel Aune is posted on our school website at www.mountsihighschool.com and on the district website at www.svsd410.org. The purpose of the letter today is to provide for you an update on these matters and communicate our next steps.
Concerns regarding the actions of a few staff as well as questions pertaining to administrative oversight of the assembly planning have emerged. A thorough review of these concerns and questions has been completed. First, appropriate action was taken with staff and school administration to address behavior, oversight, supervision, communication, and decision-making concerns. Please note that personnel matters are confidential and will not be discussed.
Second, the following plan is being developed to improve our practices, enhance our skills, and strengthen our school as we turn our attention to the future. It is our intent to learn from this event and use those learnings to strengthen Mount Si High School.
• Staff development activities are being planned to reinforce with staff members their responsibilities to uphold Mount Si High School’s mission to help students:
In bringing staff together around our common goals and purpose, we will work to reunite following what has been a divisive time for many.
• We are in the planning stages of creating a task force comprised of teachers, students and parents. This task force will review guidelines and make suggestions for the teaching of controversial subjects. This committee will convene in early spring.
• We are reviewing and revising our procedures around special programs and assemblies at the high school. The intent is to define and/or clarify approval processes, expectations for behavior, communication guidelines, and opportunities for teaching and learning prior to and following a special program or assembly.
• Lessons for students will continue around tolerance and respect for varying opinions, beliefs, and backgrounds, while we maintain a safe environment for learning. Tolerance and respect will continue to be the foundation of our school’s celebration called “Day of Respect.” This event has been a positive focus for Mount Si High School students over the past seven years and provides an opportunity to honor cultural diversity and the freedoms of speech and thought that our society enjoys.
Finally, on behalf of all of us at Mount Si High School, we want to re-emphasize that we remain committed to offering all students an education that is stimulating and challenging, in a nurturing environment. We value the partnership between parents, students, teachers and community members that is vital to effective teaching and learning of our students. We are honored to be entrusted with the education of your children and continue to take very seriously this enormous responsibility and privilege.
Thank you for your many emails, letters, and phone calls that have helped us learn from this event, and for your support to help us remain focused on your child’s education.
Randy W. Taylor
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