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School district is a mess

March 5, 2012
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Everything is such a mess in the Lake Placid School District that I hardly know where to start? Is this a "Looming Abyss" or an unavoidable "Black Hole?"

The Lake Placid Board of Education is not doing its job. They are not accountable to the voters and taxpayers, those who elected them. They don't give people straight answers because they don't seem to know what is going on. We all want answers to our repeated questions. We want respect and competent leadership to be restored to our school district. At the last meeting I attended the board seemed misinformed and unsure what to do. When Superintendent Richards sought approval for the new elective course Digital Media, there was no discussion whatsoever and only one question was asked before the board rubber-stamped the request. Come to find out the books had already been purchased, and I might add that the title of the book, "How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck" is extremely inappropriate in my opinion. Why set up a new course about shooting videos when so many math and science courses were eliminated last fall? Are the savings and value there?

On a related subject, why did the school administration so grossly overspend its budget on technology and new LCD video monitors or a comprehensive plan for how to use or implement this technology?

Confusion reigns! Numerous people, not just "select community members," have spoken out about any number of related subjects, including the "narrow issue" involving the use of some inappropriate language." Please, listen to the people to whom you are accountable.

Morale among the teaching staff and student body is lower than I've ever seen it. Leadership has not modeled the PBIS program instituted last fall. Respect for one and all cannot come from the bottom; it must come from the top, and the top is the superintendent of schools.

The administration appears to be in a state of chaos.

As a grandparent of five children in the school system as well as a taxpayer and voter, I want a much better example of a leader and responsible administrator. We need a leader with respect and compassion rather than an autocrat.

I also believe that the Board of Education is at fault and has failed in their duty because they are probably ashamed and afraid to admit they have made a second serious error in the selection of the superintendent of our system. Lake Placid School District voters and taxpayers get involved! Let's prevent disaster in our school system. It is time for a change.

Respectfully submitted,

C. MacDonald Grout

Lake Placid



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