Testimony of Ginger McHugh to the BOE, Feb 27, 2020

Good evening to the school board and Dr. Hite. Thank you for your time. At McClure Elementary, we have had a long journey. Throughout this journey, we, the staff, have been dedicated in advocating for our families for safe building conditions. Conditions which have been allowed to deteriorate over the course of decades. Conditions which forced the closure of McClure, without a relocation plan, for 15 days. Now, we, the staff, are paying the price.

Our calendar is being changed to provide “make up days” for the lost instructional time.

We were ready to work. We were asking for a transition plan. We were reaching out to families, sending them work for their children to do and keeping our students engaged throughout the process of the closure. We were excited and prepared for the field trips provided as educational days. Never once was this a staff issue. This was district and building neglect. This was neglect of maintenance, which, on a district level, is a public health hazard. Why are you asking the teachers to “pay” for the neglect of our buildings.This schedule affects plans made by faculty, we have to now shuffle and scramble for childcare, and rearrange plans, reservations for trips, and develop plans to accommodate this abrupt change.

We are frustrated, tired and looking for the district to step up. We need the calendar changed to keep the spring break days open and find other times that we can meet the educational needs of the students without further penalizing our staff, who have been through so much.

On a personal note, I’d like to add that my classroom, Dr Hite, which you visited for the Ring the Bell opening day ceremony, is now completely shuttered. I’ve had to transition my PreK children out of the classroom which they have grown to know and love, to another classroom, and now we are moving again, to a temporary modular classroom space. We’ve now set up two spaces for them, spent countless hours overtime assembling these spaces, and now we have to do it again.

I’m tired. The teachers are tired. This mandate that we at McClure have to work over the spring break, due to neglect of the district buildings, is taking a mental toll on some amazing and dedicated staff.

Dr Hite and the board, we strongly request you approve our school calendar to remain as is, with no additional time added.

Thank you for your time.