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Huff School finds replacement for Polifrone

Original post made on Mar 31, 2009

A new teacher started at Huff Elementary School this week to replace Patty Polifrone, the fourth grade teacher who left the school earlier in March following controversy over her teaching style.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 11:50 AM

Comments (20)

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Posted by Marshall
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Nice work Parents!

Huff School - why did it take so long?


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Posted by Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Barbara Bernie replaces Patty Polifrone. I guess Margaret Marconi and Nancy Netham were busy. Heads up to Linda Lizinski...you're on deck.
Joking aside, I'm glad for the kids that their mental abuser is gone.


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Posted by Margaret
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:25 pm

Way to go parents!! What empowerment when we all work together as one.


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Posted by Smart Growther
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 31, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Wouldn't necessarily call this empowerment.


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Posted by harvardmom
a resident of Monta Loma
on Mar 31, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Good for Huff parents and administrators for being proactive, getting the deed done, and moving on. Now the kids can think about doing well and enjoying learning instead of being on guard for their sanity and safety. Maybe too much damage hasn't been done. My MV public-school-educated son will graduate from both Harvard and MIT in June. Not every teacher was perfect, but he didn't have abusers like Patty Polifrone.


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Posted by Herkamer the lousy landlord
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 1, 2009 at 6:14 am

I saw Patty P. at the airport headed for Hawaii,She's still on the payroll.She told me when she gets back she's going to start a Doggie Day Care.


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Posted by MV resident
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:20 am

Poor dogs.


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Posted by friend
a resident of The Crossings
on Apr 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Herkamer - Stop making up stuff just to try to stir things up!


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Posted by SJ teacher
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Gee, two weeks of watching movies, two weeks of wondering and worrying about what is going on with Mrs P, then finding out that they won't be seeing her again (no closure), and now having to adjust to a new teacher -- this is a great way to prepare the Huff 4th graders for the quickly approaching CA State Standardized Test. Surely this entire situation could have been handled much better by the district and the feww angry parents.
Good Luck with those scores.


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Posted by Miss Sugimoto
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm

sj teacher:

Be thankful the problem is solved.

I think a new teacher is the best gift the kids can have. . . they will be just fine. Stop complaining!!!

Now they can take the test with no butterflies in their stomach's.


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Posted by Huff Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I've never met Ms. Polifrone but have heard praises and criticism of her from parents whose children were/are in her class. My question is simply: In what other industry would this behavior be tolerated for so long? In any job we have, if just 10% of our customers complain about our attitude, we would no longer be in that position. How was it that it was ok for someone with that attitude be allow to be in direct contact with our children for so long? I believe our teachers should be paid more and deserve more respect, but at the same time, they and the district need to stop protecting the bad teachers.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 2, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Thanks to the article in voice 30 kids in this class are stuck with a landscape artist for a teacher. Some of these kids will fail.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Apr 2, 2009 at 6:17 pm

SJ Teacher,
Thank you for the comment. These kids will pay the price for the districts inability.


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Posted by rm 12 parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2009 at 6:20 pm

MV Voice
Wouldn't you like to know how the parent meeting went last night?
30 kids, less than 10 parents in attendance!
A sub with NO classroom experience!
Seems like these "concerned" parents really have something to be concerned about!


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Posted by new to the Voice
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm

Hey, MV Voice,
Last night there was a meeting at Huff to introduce the new teacher to the parents. Where were you? Seems to me that would have been an excellent opportunity to interview the parents of this current class. Perhaps, good or bad, you could have gotten a more accurate account of what was going on in Ms Polifrone's room than that of Christine and other unidentified parents. You tried to defend the unfair, one-sided stories that you've printed so far (Why we published the story)but here was a perfect chance to get some other points of view and you missed it. So much for unbiased, balanced reporting. Does your paper do any actual investigative reporting or do you always just sit back and wait for people to bring the stories to you?


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Posted by Huff Parent
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Apr 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I heard that the only parents who showed up to meet the new teacher were ones who liked Ms P and were saddened by her untimely departure and are now rightfully concerned with how this change will effect their children. I guess the complaining parents who were supposedly so worried about Ms Polifrone's "abuse" couldn't be bothered to learn how the new teacher plans to manage the class.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 3, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Huff Parent- nice comment. It seems like when the parents get what they want, they could care less about the aftermath. The same thing happened with the PACT parents wanting out of Castro. No one knew that they were going to throw out a day care center that was there for over 20 years. Mnt. View Voice, you should have dug a little deeper on that one!
Now these parents got what they wanted, a teacher fired and seems like they aren't concerned about the future teacher or even that their kids were stuck with a sub for all that time. Talk about tunnel vision, or is it just plain old "it's my way or the highway".


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Posted by anon
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm

The principal, Sharon Burns, bears much of the responsibility for the Patty Polifrone fiasco. Polifrone is tenured and has taught in the MVWSD for many years. Why did the Polifrone situation escalate in Burn's first year as principal? Did Burns mishandle the situation? Why was Polifrone escorted off campus? The administration/principal at Huff must have asked the district office to escort Polifrone off campus. Why? The decision to escort Polifrone off campus inflamed passions.

Burns needs to learn how to handle situations better and not let them get out of control. Burns should not have let a few parents push her around and she should not have decided to have Polifrone escorted off campus. By escorting Polifrone off campus it empowered a few misguided parents to demand even more.

Furthermore, MVWSD needs to do a better job of supporting their teachers. MVWSD also needs to discipline the unproductive troublemakers and not promote them to the next grade level. Teachers should not be punished for doing their job and teachers should not have to tolerate abusive, lazy, unprepared, and unmotivated students.

If Burns had done a better job handling the Polifrone situation it never would have escalated. Good leaders know how to tap down problems before they become untenable.

I do think Burns needs to be given time to develop as a principal and I also think the Polifrone situation needs to be looked at through the lens of an inexperienced principal who escalated a manageable situation into an unmanageable situation. If Burns gets another chance then so should Polifrone.


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Posted by anon #2
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 6, 2009 at 9:40 am

Anon - I disagree with you 100%. Sharon Burns has been doing an outstanding job as principal in this, her first year. I think she handled the situation beautifully and professionally. Remember that the decisions were not all hers and that the district had a much bigger hand in it than Burns. The situation with Polifrone had been going on for years before she arrived. Burns does an excellent job of supporting her teachers as does the district. Teachers aren't punished for just doing their job, but they are held accountable when they are doing their job poorly. Who said that all of the students in that class were lazy, abusive, unprepared or unmotivated? I've seen other classrooms at that school with the same population whose students are just the opposite. Students will rise to their expectations and to their leadership. Don't blame the principal for this one. I think she did exactly what she should have.


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Posted by parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Word on the street is that Ms. P will be teaching at Castro next year teaching the fourth grade to a bunch of English learners and illegal alien students. Apparently ths district ain't got nothing on her to get rid of her!


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