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Five schools facing state intervention feel overlooked, put upon

Published May 1, 2013

Five schools in Pinellas County are facing state intervention after years of poor grades. But comments from this year's climate survey paint a picture of teachers and staff members who feel overlooked, put upon, and lacking support from district administrators.

Here are some of the comments, which were released by the district Tuesday:

Melrose Elementary

I feel that some district leaders are very removed from south county schools and what they need.

The area superintendent is often at our school but has no positive interaction with teachers or students.

It seems every year or two we are changing our focus. How can we accomplish anything with so much change?

Melrose has many challenges. Those challenges have been brought up to district leadership many times and we have yet to receive any viable support for those challenges. Sometimes I feel like Melrose is being set up to fail by the district.

Dr. Porter is an awesome principal. She always makes a point of greeting each student and teacher, which shows that she genuinely cares about the positive atmosphere and the success of the school.

Dr. Porter works extremely hard. The fruit of her labor and the intensity of her work is not demonstrated by the gains of the students. She is an advocate for student learning and positive behavior.

PD trainings are the same trainings over and over again. They are not effective and a waste of my time.

Teachers are dealing with too many behaviors. There are too many meetings that are repetitive so teachers lose planning time in their classroom. State walkthroughs are a disruptive and you have to put on a show and pretend that everything is perfect.

Maximo Elementary

District support are doing a excellent job.

Our principal is a strong advocate for her staff and students and works hard for them. She tries to establish ways of work that promote collegiality among staff.

Our principal is masterful at bringing the staff together as a team to work on solutions to problems.

Many students speak and act in ways that are disrespectful to adults and other students. Parents often seem to blame the school for their child's behavior. It is very difficult to get in contact with many of my parents.

Poor student behavior is rampant. Lack of respect from the majority of students. No matter how many positive consequences are put in place, most students are unresponsive. School procedures for negative behaviors are inconsistent and ineffective.

Drastic changes need to be implemented at this school.

I fear for our safety. Students and parents are very angry and violent

Azalea Middle

I feel that we are heading in the right direction with district leadership, especially with our new superintendent.

major disconnect between district admin. and south county schools.

District admin. choose to ignore cultural and community problems in south county and blame faculty instead

Dr. Kolosey has done a fantastic job turning things around at Azalea Middle. She is always kind and respectful to all staff.

Dr. Kolosey is a phenomenal Principal! She truly cares about the staff and students. She is optimisstic, solution focused, and is turning AMS into a school of LEARNING! She inspires us all to reach higher!

All students are not disruptive, but those that are disruptive hide the good ones

Parental involvement is the key to ANY successful school, but when the parents are out fighting in the streets - what else can we expect at the school?

Fairmount Park Elementary

Communication is slow and is always filtered down. It needs to come from direct sources. District needs to re-think structure of low performing schools, should not have high percent of struggling students at 1 school.

administrators from Largo have no idea how much we deal with down here nor do they seem to care.

Disagree with some of our district processes. They look good on paper, but are not executed with fidelity. Too many demands on teachers and district decisions are made without teacher input.

principal at Fairmount Park has gone to great lengths to provide high levels of support to the teachers. She has a wonderful hands-off leadership style and trusts the professional decisions of her staff.

The majority of parents are not actively involved with students and academics. Students respond poorly to rules and structure-the same students misbehave, act defiantly, and have little respects for teachers.

Being under state jurisdiction is very stressful. I do not look forward to the DA visits.

I enjoy working with the students, but the behavior problems and low morale make me want to go elsewhere.

Pinellas Park Middle

It should be required for district support to spend a fraction of their time at school sites in order to keep a grasp about what is actually happening at the schools they support.

Our assistant superintendent knew of our struggles, but did nothing to help.

Our Principal in improving, but she does not communicate with her staff, is often unavailable and make decisions alone without staff input.

Our principal seems to make decisions based on her preferences and often does not follow through with other decisions. She has been known to say one thing and later deny she made that statement.

Principal has provided insight, leadership and a clear direction with regard to increasing the academic performance of our students.

I wish I knew how the majority of parents feel, but there is no way of knowing. Parent turn out to meetings is almost non-existant.

Most students are here to learn.

I love the kids and staff at this school. We need more administrative support and district support. Our climate is still one of top down management with changes imposed on us. Mandates are frequent with very little reason as to why.