BELVIDERE--Belvidere High School teachers have written a letter expressing no confidence in the principal and two assistant principals of the school. The letter comes in the wake of budget cuts that have eliminated more than a dozen teacher positions in the district. The Belvidere Education Association is alleging among other things that school officials have improperly 'gamed' the evaluation process to get rid of longer term, higher paid teachers in order to save money.
'Eyewitness News' will follow up with teacher's union and school officials and have more on this developing story throughout the day.
A copy of the letter is below:
We apologize for the timing of this statement, as you as a Board of Education have many difficult, emotional decisions to make tonight; however, after careful deliberation and much consideration, we as the faculty of Belvidere High School have deemed it necessary, in the interest of our students and staff, to inform the Board of Education and the administration of our vote of "no confidence" in the leadership of the principal and two assistant principals at Belvidere High School. We do not take our responsibility as professionals lightly and realize that such a decision could lead to further difficulties for our students and staff, but after several years of inadequate leadership and numerous attempts by many groups of concerned faculty to rectify professional, curricular, and educational issues in our building, we no longer feel that these administrators can correct the problems and issues they have created.
The following summarizes our main issues and concerns:
1) Our students are losing distinguished, excellent educators due to these administrators' abuses of the evaluation process.
2) These administrators are targeting educators who are the leaders of our building and improve our students' learning environment by acting as mentors to our younger teachers.
3) Intermittent enforcement of inconsistent policies and rules has led to confusion for the students and an unstable learning environment.
4) The creation of courses in mid-semester without proper planning, communication , curriculum development, or district approval has resulted in major schedule changes that negatively affect many classrooms' learning environments, as well as the students' daily routines.
5) Poor communication skills, the abolishment of full-staff faculty meetings, and an overall unwillingness to communicate with staff has made it impossible for the staff to provide a consistent, unified learning environment for our students.
Ultimately, the faculty has decided that the students and staff of BHS cannot adequately succeed as a school under the leadership of these administrators. You can't put students first if you put teachers last. It's impossible to put our students first if these administrators continually bully, belittle, ignore, and otherwise demoralize their faculty and staff.