Napa Valley Updates

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here's a letter one teacher wrote as to why she's against the recall. It appeared on the back pages of the St. Helena Star


Editor: I have nearly a 20-year relationship with our school district as a parent and/or a teacher. During this time I have worked under many boards and administrations. Never before have I seen a greater commitment to educating our youth.

It is under our current administration and board leadership that services and conditions for the majority of our students have been drastically improved. Here are a few actions that I believe to have been most beneficial:

• They have mandated class size reduction through fifth grade. While most primary and elementary schools have 25-30 students, we have 16-22.

• They have discontinued the practice of combining grades. Meeting the curriculum standards for a grade level in one year is challenging. Meeting the curriculum standards for two grade levels in one year is impossible.

• They have brought the International Baccalaureate Program, recognized worldwide as a leader in education, to our district.

• There is greater articulation and collaboration of teaching goals, methodology, and assessments between school sites. We are truly preparing our students for a global community.

• They have been incredibly successful in finding private and public funds which have provided our students with an enriched educational experience.

• They have been proactive in attracting qualified staff in an area where the cost of living is staggering.

• It should be no surprise then to see that our Academic Performance Index (API) scores have increased every year for five years.

Although I haven’t agreed with every board decision made, I strongly disagree with the recall effort. It is an unnecessary expense. The funds, an estimated $30,000 to $50,000, and untold personnel hours, would be better spent in serving the needs of our students.

Judi Hudson


St. Helena

Elementary School