Treatment of Vantage Point Charter absolutely apalling
I am very sickened and appalled at the outcome of the meeting on Feb. 5 with the Ready Springs School Board concerning Vantage Point Charter. I, being an extremely concerned parent, am very confused as to how the Ready Springs School Board feels that its decision in removing director Tessa McGarr is a remedy to the supposed discrepancies. It appears that their decision was already made before the meeting, as they hardly answered any questions from the Vantage Point parents and showed no evidence regarding their allegations, except to say that FICMAT (Fiscal Crisis and Management Team) showed some discrepancies – discrepancies that should have been overseen by Superintendent Merrill Grant. Also, not one person on the Ready Springs School Board was there representing Vantage Point Charter, therefore voting unanimously in Mr. Grant’s favor to remove Tessa McGarr as director.
A very large number of students have left Ready Springs Union and come to Vantage Point Charter because they were very unhappy with Grant and also the lack of teaching our students were receiving. My child has improved significantly since being at Vantage Point, and his self-esteem has flourished. I also enrolled my other child two and a half weeks ago.
I think it is a tragedy that McGarr has been ripped from the charter school she helped create. She has been an attribute to the school and students. I feel it has been her knowledge and demeanor that has made Vantage Point Charter the valued school it has been. There are many, many heartbroken children and parents, as Vantage Point will not be the same without her.
I would like to know who is going to try and fill McGarr’s position. Not Mr. Grant, I hope. If this is the case, then I will have to consider alternative schooling for my children. He is part of the reason Ready Springs is losing its students. He has angered many parents and children, which is proven by his needing to acquire security at the meeting.
I do not wish to have my children under the direction of Mr. Grant, as he has been very rude to my children and my husband, as well as to other children and the Vantage Point staff. There have been many personal instances where he has acted in an unprofessional manner and without regard for the children. I don’t feel that he is a proper role model for a principal or superintendent, and more importantly, I do not want him governing my children at Vantage Point. He has taken away the enthusiasm of Vantage Point, and I fear that it will become an extension of Ready Springs, a place we were trying to get away from.
Our Vantage Point Charter was a content school. It had a very comfortable environment, which allowed our children to excel in their schoolwork. The teachers are more personable than those at the traditional schools, and I feel that is very beneficial to the children. Vantage Point Charter is family-oriented, and the children were like one big family who worked together. Now this has been taken away from them. The children are really the ones who are suffering most from this action.
There are many different ways children process the knowledge they receive. Some have good comprehension and the traditional schools may work for them, while others may be very intelligent, but may be lacking in comprehension. They can do the work; they just need a little extra help so they can process their assignments.
At Ready Springs, my children were told what their assignment was and were expected to know how to do it. If they needed help and would ask for it, they would be told, “Ask your neighbor,” or “I’ve already explained it,” and “See me on your own time.” So, if you didn’t understand the explanation, then too bad for you. At Vantage Point, my children’s teacher will explain a problem until the children understand it. That is how you learn, by being taught. And I don’t feel my children were being taught properly at Ready Springs.
I have transferred my second child to Vantage Point because of Mr. Grant’s lack of professionalism. And at the meeting Feb. 5, he stated that he does not enter the classrooms at Vantage Point as much as he’d like because he feels unwelcome. Well, he was right.
If this drastic measure was taken because of a financial issue, as the Ready Springs School Board has stated, then why did Mr. Grant revoke the bookkeeper that was hired? Why wasn’t a new one appointed to rectify this problem? If there was a problem with the attendance records, and Mr. Grant is the superintendent of Vantage Point, then why didn’t he see to it that the attendance was done properly? Mr. Grant and the Ready Springs School Board have greatly affected and most likely reduced the attendance of Vantage Point by their poor judgment. How is this supposed to help the financial problem? Less attendance equals less budget. And why is McGarr being made to go to Ready Springs with Mr. Grant, when he has such animosity toward her and treats her with such disregard? The decision sounds like an extreme error to me. And the children, with no rights, shall suffer.
In closing, I would like to say I am more than deeply saddened by the choices made at the school board meeting on Feb. 5, as it is changing my children’s future, unfortunately, to their disadvantage. Farewell to a wonderful school, Vantage Point Charter, while Mr. Grant gloats in his dictatorship.
Cindy Clark is a parent of Vantage Point Charter School students.
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Parents are becoming aware of the use of critical race theory in their children’s instruction, particularly as distance learning has given them a window into their classrooms.