Developing: Parents call for emergency school board meeting to address concerns w/ Asheville Middle School
Here’s the letter that’s making the rounds:
Dear Families, Parents, Students, and Staff,
We are writing this e-mail to ask for your participation in providing a voice to help support Asheville Middle School. We as parents are extremely thankful for those teachers who are committed to education and value diversity. There are many great programs and opportunities at Asheville Middle School. We would like to thank the Band & Strings teachers, Sports & IN REAL LIFE programs, the AIG teachers and all the other people that go into making AMS a unique school.
With so many parents across the economic spectrum choosing a different environment for their children to be educated, we’re hoping to effect change. It’s our belief that the School Board and Superintendent Johnson do not have the full picture of the day-to-day problems at AMS, nor do they realize just how many parents and children, of all races, have left or have chosen not to send their children to AMS because of the following voiced concerns: ineffective behavior management, violent behavior, bullying, lack of homework, low academic expectations, poor school-parent communication, failure of administration to deal with classrooms identified as poor learning environments, and poor follow through or utilization of good systems that are in place. With good Elementary Schools and excellent area High Schools, there is no reason to settle for a Middle School that has developed a poor reputation.
We are taking a two pronged approach to this:
1) We are requesting an Emergency Board Meeting with the Asheville City School Board, the Asheville City School Administration, and any other concerned community members in an open and public forum. At this meeting, parents, staff and students will have an opportunity to share their experiences as it relates to AMS. Speaking before the board is optional; and there is another way you can be heard, see #2. An Emergency Board Meeting can only be convened by a member of the Board, so we need parents to send an e-mail requesting such a meeting (see cut-n-paste section below).
2) In addition to speaking at the Emergency Board Meeting, we would also like to present letters and testimonials to the Board from parents, students and staff. We ask that you either send an e-mail directly to the Board members (see below) and/or forward your testimonial to us so we can prepare a packet for the Board members.
We would especially like to see the students participate in either of the two options above. A heartfelt testimonial from a current or past student would speak volumes to the Board. These letters are important so that the entire board can be aware of the depth and breadth of the concerns.
Finally, if you know any other families who are willing to share their experiences, please forward this info. We are hoping to hear from current, as well as past parents and families who have avoided AMS because of their perceptions, families who have left AMS because of problems, and, most of all, from kids who are not having a positive middle school experience at AMS. If we don’t act, the numbers of families and great teachers leaving AMS will increase and the level of safety and academics will continue to plummet. Thanks for taking the time to consider if you or anyone you know might be able to help.
If you wish to be added to a growing list of concerned parents, please reply to ParentsForAMS@gmail.com.
Matt Buys, Hayley Holland, Carol May, Jim O’Brien
Category: Asheville News