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School board votes to drop four school principals

Original post made on Mar 2, 2018

Last night, Mountain View Whisman School District board members unanimously voted to release and reassign several elementary and middle school principals, kicking off a major administrative shuffle three months before the end of the school year.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 2, 2018, 12:18 PM

Comments (111)

4 people like this
Posted by MVWSD parent
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:14 pm

The statement from the District says Heidi Galassi will be the new principal at Landels Elementary, not at Theuerkauf. She and Mr. Santiago are not switching places. Please correct the article.


5 people like this
Posted by Manfred
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:17 pm

From the email: "Additionally, Graham Assistant Principal Heidi Galassi has been appointed as the new Principal of Landels Elementary. Ryan Santiago will take the role of Assistant Principal at Graham Middle School."


20 people like this
Posted by Hopeful parent
a resident of Willowgate
on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Some Spanish speaking parents at Graham are not a all happy to see the current principal leave.


45 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:48 pm

I am a parent of both a Landels and Graham student. This is a complete shock as both of the principals are loved by students and parents alike. This is a very sad day.


50 people like this
Posted by Graham parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Non-Spanish speaking parents are not happy either. Both the principal and assistant principal are fantastic and I’m shocked we’re goubg to lose both of them at once.


60 people like this
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Both Chesley and Thompson are really exceptional leaders and educators. What the heck is going on with MVWSD???


56 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Incredibly sad to see Steve Chesley go. He has been nothing but supportive of my son who transitioned into Landels last year, and I believe a great role model for the students and faculty. All the parents I know are upset. What am I missing here?


91 people like this
Posted by 7th and 9th grade parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I am dismayed about the news that 3 principles are being "released" at once. This is a lot of Superintendent directed leadership change in our schools. What is the rationale behind that? In particular, I wonder why dismissing Kim Thompson is a positive change with the upcoming big schedule changes?

Ms Thompson and Mr Chesley built Graham to be the great school it is now! We have experienced Ms Thompson for the last 4.5 years as a beloved, caring, approachable and effective principal of Graham Middle School. She has a keen eye for the student needs and has put into place wonderful programs at Graham!

Is this a punitive measure? Did our School Board drink the Superintendents cool aid? It's time for a change on the School Board! The next election is coming up in the fall.


30 people like this
Posted by "Drop" them?
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm

The headline suggests that the principals are being let go for reasons of poor performance but is there any indication that this is the case?

In the past, when principals are reassigned, it can be because they are being given better jobs or positions where they are to focus on a specific goal. Geoff Change went to Huff, for instance, and I didn't get the sense that this was a punishment.

So, Mr. Forestieri, what's the story behind the headline?


15 people like this
Posted by GMS past parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 3:11 pm

GMS is 9% higher in the academic achievement GAP for Math compared to the district average. (Smarter Balance/ 8th 2017 test, not achieving standard) And the District White-Hispanic academic achievement GAP is among the astonishing 'worst 20 in the entire nation' (Stanford data from a professor specializing in economic inequality in education)

The Teach To One math fiasco at GMS? Which school administrator was responsible for the implementation disaster? It might have been a poor program - but Thompson clearly failed as an academic administrator. Clearly - TWO MATH periods under her curriculum design also failed for almost a decade. Time for her to retire.

If Superintendent Rudolph worked with these Principals and found that they were not willing to take his leadership, and he had been discussing this for months with the Board (Closed Sessions "district employee/ reassignment/ release')?

Bold leadership move. I hope he knows what he is doing! But MVWSD had a history in the past of ADMINISTRATOR TENURE (not legally protected) being much, much longer than average MVWSD teacher tenure (legally protected).


48 people like this
Posted by Concerned district parent
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Mar 2, 2018 at 3:12 pm

I suppose the "real story" will eventually work its way through the school communities, but it's amazing that the district makes this big announcement with no explanation. Why don't we know about the "other positions in the district" the principals have all been assigned to? With no explanation it seems like there's a bad story not being told.


60 people like this
Posted by Huff parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Didn't the superintendent cost our district half a million dollar with his half-baked, new math program last year? Why is he still there, while Ms. Thompson, who was the ONLY administrator I've dealt with in the 12 years in this district, who actually cares about the students, is reassigned?


46 people like this
Posted by @GMS past parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

"The Teach To One math fiasco at GMS? Which school administrator was responsible for the implementation disaster?"

TTO was the 500k program the Superintendent picked and imposed without proper process on our two middle schools. It took the parent community 4 month to kill the disastrous program. The school principles did their best to follow "bold leadership", but the program failed because it was not a suitable program to teach math in middle school. BTW: Ms Galassi was the administrator in charge of implementing and mentoring teachers for TTO and she is now principle of Landels. I worry about the Landels community after witnessing Ms Galassi's inappropriate performance at Tuesdays Town Hall meeting: Commenting questions in a flippant way, throwing index cards around on stage and her inability to coherently communicate do not boat well for a principal role.


54 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I've students at Mistral and Graham and this is the most outrageous and inconsiderate act against the school communities by the new and inexperienced Supe and Board. Both schools have the most caring, compassionate and professional principals you will ever meet and a far cry from what I've witnessed from the Supe or Board. On top of that, scores at both these schools improved last year!

The "real story" already starting to emerge is that the Board plans on gutting the Dual Immersion Program to a 50-50 model which means good luck on any student reaching academic fluency by 5th grade, be it those students learning Spanish or those learning English. When are parents going to be told of this plan???? Thankfully this won't affect my student, but heads up DI parents, it's time to head for the doors because something foul is being cooked up in the district office. It also fully explains why the Supe was so against allowing the DI parents to conduct recruitment tours this year. We've been lied to and manipulated all along.

On top of this we have had Board Member Gutierrez, with lots of free time on his hands, hanging around both campuses constantly targeting teachers to get rid of, slinging accusations of racism and segregation while stirring parents up behind the principals backs and usurping their control and message while he unethically sought preferential treatment for his kids and family. The rest of the Board should have him investigated and censured. But don't hold your breath for that.

After the TTO fiasco--100% owned by the Supe-- it should be clear that the opinions of the parents and the school communities don't count. Our beloved and extremely hardworking principals and teachers are, and will always be the scapegoat here. In return we will get district office robots for principals and it two more years the Supe will be gone. Wash, rinse, repeat. The Supe and his staff will never admit to their errors or utter lack of knowledge of our school communities (again, think TTO and the embarrassment brought down on the Supe and his staff), the poor performing teachers have tenure and can't be fired, and no one is about to blame the poor performing students and the lack of proper educational support they don't receive from their parents.


4 people like this
Posted by GMS past parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm

I am sorry that the assistant principal at Graham clearly participated in helping TTO fail. But in the end - Thompson was her direct boss (she was the "assistant" right?) If this administrator is 'loved by some, despised by others' then I guess we will see if she can succeed as an elementary school principal.

The community clearly stopped TTO from becoming a $500K failure. If you participated in that community action: high school kids have gained another example of how community action can change political nonsense. I think it will be good to wait and see how this works out, as others have suggested.


9 people like this
Posted by GMS past parent
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm

The board plans on gutting the Dual Immersion program to a 50:50 program, what the heck @Disgusted?
For many years, the aim of the DI program at Castro was 50:50, half native Spanish speakers and half English proficient speakers. I have no idea why the Mistral Principal was included in this administrative action. We shall see.

I think any Trustee, including Gutierrez, should be snooping around campuses (not just his own family's but all). If more Trustees had been allowed to 'snoop around' GMS when TTO was stumbling [big stumble big Superintendent error] then the fiasco would have been detected and ended sooner.

3 administrators being moved around (and retired?) is sort of a big ho hum in the grand scheme of things educational. What if this resulted in an Uptick in good Teacher Retention?


55 people like this
Posted by Jane
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm

We need the board to be responsible to the kids and remove the superintendent. Next we need to vote out the school board members. Then get rid of these crazy “innovative programs” with no legs and get back to education. What a mess this district is becoming.


62 people like this
Posted by @GMS past parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm

"The community clearly stopped TTO from becoming a $500K failure."

That is not actually true. The community stopped TTO after it had harmed kids math education. However, the district still payed out around a total of 400K after re-negotiating the cost with the supplier and covering legal cost incurred by the negligence of the Superintendent.

I wish we, the parent community, could have made the Superintendent pay for the cost of his negligence. However, the Board shielded him. The $ came out of the district and therefore from our kids rather then from him.

Indeed, let's vote current Board members out of office. Two of the 5 finish their term this fall.


79 people like this
Posted by Alan Wessel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Kim Thompson is an incredibly caring and competent administrator who changed Graham from an underperforming uncaring place to a wonderful high-achieving school.

She's worked tirelessly to support all members of the community with a special emphasis on underserved/underprivileged children.

Without a seasoned administrator on hand to guide the implementation of the new schedule this is likely to turn into an even worse disaster than the "Teach to One/TTO" fiasco we went through last year.

As one of the community organisers who worked hard to kill TTO, I can tell you that Kim did everything she could to make the best of a terrible situation created entirely by the district.

We cannot afford to lose Kim Thompson now. Let's show the MVWSD School board that she has the full support of our community and should immediately be reinstated!

Please sign my petition here: Web Link

Thanks!
Alan


17 people like this
Posted by @GMS past parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm

You are confusing the 50:50 ratio of students with the 50:50 model of language instruction. The DI program at Castro and Mistral has always been a 90:10 model of language instruction.


30 people like this
Posted by @GMS past parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Also, yes, Board Members should definitely be making inquiries. Undermining principals by circumventing their leadership and authority, and essentially taking on a management role, however, is not part of their mandate. Their is also a conflict of interest when a Board Member's family member receives financial gain at the same time. A censure is in order.


48 people like this
Posted by Claire @Landels
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm

We want our Principal reinstated! Landels community is saddened and angry about this decision. Our voices were not heard, and the secrecy behind it is unfair. We demand action and answers. These are amazing, committed administrators who we need in our district.


56 people like this
Posted by Good Bye Ayinde
a resident of Castro City
on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Make no mistake about it, folks! This is a demotion through and through!

1. Theuerkauf Elementary Principal Ryan Santiago - he had to go. After the fiasco at that school, e.g., alleged sexual assault among teaching staff and ridiculous teacher turn-over, someone had to take the fall. Here’s the thing, the district office knew darn well about what was happening at Theuerkauf and never did anything about it until the proverbial poop hit the fan. Santiago should’ve never been a principal to begin with. I also think Ayinde should bare responsibility for alllowing Theuerkauf to deteriorate the way it did.

2. Mistral Elementary Principal Marcela Simoes de Carvalho - she had to go. She has a history of incompetence in the school district. This isn’t her first stint as an adminstrator. The Dual Immersion School is also suffering from high teacher turnover, e.g., not enough credentialed teachers and parents pulling their children out of the program. Here’s the thing, the district office knew darn well about what was happening at Mistral and never did anything about it until now. de Carvalho should’ve never been a principal to begin with. I also think Ayinde should bare responsibility for alllowing Mistral to deteriorate the way it did.

3. Graham Principal Kim Thompson - I agree with Wessel. She’s taking the hit for Ayinde’s blunder.

4. Landels Principal Steve Chesley - Never heard of him.

In conclusion: Ayinde will make these moves and the trustees will probably think he’s doing something positive, but all along it’s just musical chairs to cover up for his incompetence. I agree with others in this thread, trustees need to rid the district of Ayinde, he hasn’t lived up to the hype.


40 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2018 at 5:42 pm

These long-standing well-respected administrators DID NOT HAVE A CHANCE. I hope the parents are in an uproar and question what feedback was provided to these administrators in relation to performance. Obviously there is no care about the longevity of these leaders caring for this community. Please understand that if a new leader does not invest in the current leadership, they would turn on your children in the same callous, thoughtless manner.

While it sounds nice that some of the administrators have jobs, what they are saying is that they CAN NO LONGER WORK AS ADMINISTRATORS in Mountain View, for NO REASON. Yeah, they can go back and be teachers but I hope the parents really take time to ask pressing questions here because this is a real travesty.

These administrators are now FORCED TO LEAVE THE DISTRICT, and they may lose a lot of their years of service, possibly even pension or security of reverting back to being a teacher. They are royally messed up here.

I hope that the parents fight for the rights of these administrators as much as these administrators fought for your kids. These administrators cannot say anything on their own behalf as they need new jobs. Total travesty.


66 people like this
Posted by Last straw! Good bye Board
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2018 at 6:01 pm

1. Ayinde pushes through TTO with disastrous results

2. Ayinde tells the board there is no support for the Independent Study / home schooling program

3. I wonder what lies Ayinde told the board to get them to vote for Kim Thompson and Steve Chesley to be removed? ( I do not know the others, but know that these two are exceptional principals.)

I say it's time to VOTE THEM OUT! Ellen Wheeler and Greg Coladonato are up in 2018, the others in 2020


61 people like this
Posted by Concerned Landels mom
a resident of Slater
on Mar 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm

I am a proud Landels parent and I want to go the record saying that Steve Chesley has been a breath of fresh air at our school—every school event, Steve is there—every PTA meeting, Steve is there and contributing—got a question or a concern, he’s patient and spends time answering it. Steve has helped transform the Landels community and I for one demand a reason for this decision.

To the board and the superintendent, your decision coupled with the lack of transparency is reprehensible. You owe our community some answers...


31 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 2, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

I don't assume to know why, and I hope it's for reasons that supports each of these professionals. Ms. Thompson has given more to MVWSD than any professional should be expected to, and I hope these changes bring her talents to a larger audience.

I will share that any change in principals should first be done as a private conversation between that leader and his/her school (staff, parents, and students when age appropriate). It's after a leader has had a chance to bid farewell on their own terms to his/her school community, should it be then brought to the wider public. I hope this is what happened here.


14 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theorist
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm

The district is long known to shuffle people around to “solve” any problem.
One more fact: a principal being loved by parents doesn’t always mean he or she is loved by teachers. Many teachers were unhappy with Santiago and Marcela Simoes (hence the ridiculous rates of teacher turnover, as noted above). Sexual assault happened off campus and only one teacher (the assailant) was involved, the victims were neither kids nor adults from the district.
I think we will see Chesley or Thompson as a new principal at Theuerkauf (as strong administrators are known to be assigned to not so great schools), and Mistral will just shrivel and die without proper leadership and support from the district.
We shall see.


24 people like this
Posted by District Insider
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:10 pm

@Conspiracy theorist

I wish you were correct, but Thompson and Chesley are being forced out.


24 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:23 pm

The question here is what does “release and reassign” mean” How does “dripped” and offered a different position go in the same sentence?

Kim Thompson and Steve Chesley are outstanding administrators, both former long-time teachers in the district, and both are first-rate human beings. This article as written is wildly provocative and incomplete and leaves the readers no choice but to speculate what the hell is going on. Unfortunately that’s typical for MVWSD. I think the district office messed up and they owe their constituents (whose tax dollars pay their salaries) an immediate explanation or clarification of what’s going on.


4 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:24 pm

*Dropped*


6 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theorist
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:27 pm

@district insider: why?!!!!
Also, what’s the deal with Santiago and Simoes de Carvalho? Is it teacher turnover?


24 people like this
Posted by Mistral Teacher
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:31 pm

Thank you to those that have been polite and respectful.

Some of you, like @Conspiracy theorist, people just can't control your mouths or manners.

The Mistral principal announced today that she had decided to leave. She is close to her retirement and at the top of the salary scale and has a young son she wants to spend time with and look after in his last years of school. Who would blame any parent? Both teachers and principals get a little tired of being pushed around by parents who don't work and with a zillion opinions about how best to serve their precious little children. Oh that's right, it's never the parents fault from the people here casting all the blame.

BTW the reason for the high turn over of teachers has been extensively covered in this paper. If you really want to blame some one though, you can start with the superintendent and the school board.

@Good Bye Ayinde

I'll just assume you are one of the teachers that refused to work with our team and who was moved and then quit when you couldn't have things your way.


50 people like this
Posted by incoming graham parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:35 pm

I went to the 5th grade orientation a month ago and was super impressed with the 3 person leadership team at Graham, including Kim Thompson. It sounds like other Graham parents also have appreciated her. How on Earth can she be reassigned after all she has done to turn Graham around? I will put my kids in a private school immediately if it turns out Rudolph and the board are playing a political game at the expense of my kids....and so will many other parents in our community. Ayinde, you need to provide a better explanation than your short email announcement today.


7 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theorist
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 7:40 pm

@mistral parent : I heard Ms Marcela is going back to teaching, not retiring, is it true?!


26 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm

The Landels community deserves an explanation and more respect! First, a well-respected Principal is reassigned without explanation. Then Landels is told who the next Principal will be. All other schools are being allowed input on the hiring of their next leader. Have we gone from a Board that challenged every move a Superintendent made to a rubber stamp Board?


61 people like this
Posted by District Insider
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:28 pm

Someone asked why the Kim Thompson and Steve Chesley were being forced out.

Ayinde is arrogant, vain, power hungry and unable to tolerate anyone who might in any way challenge him. To get along with him you have to kowtow to him. Thompson and Chesley were strong leaders who refused to kiss his ring.

And the board. He schmuses them like nobody's business.

I see it all too often around the district office.


53 people like this
Posted by Reinstate
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Parents, please fight for your administrators rights. Please help them get reinstated. They can't do anything as they need new jobs in small industry. This is Silicon Valley, full of strength and innovation. Don't accept this.

Translation of article:

"release" = fired
"Drop" = fired
"Reassigned" means demoted. If an administrator did not get reassigned to another administration role, they have to leave district if they want to work in management. Most got raw deal.

They will probably lose many years service. All those years investing in kids, communities, for minimal salaries, and they are thanked by getting fired and potentially losing years service. That's some kind of special "thanks" they referred to in the article.


9 people like this
Posted by Former teacher
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:39 pm

@Conspiracy Theorist : The district office has known about the sexual harasser teacher for years. Multiple females at the district office/ other schools were warned about this teacher but not those who had daily contact with him. Santiago knew it was happening and did nothing to protect his staff.
What the DO is not telling parents, is that this teacher was working his way up to kids. Grooming behavior was obvious. Think part of this change up is that this teacher is coming back, because legally he can, and a new principle will be a fresh start for everyone.


17 people like this
Posted by Former MV resident
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:52 pm

My kid went to Landels (Chesley) and Huff (Chang).

I echo many Landels parent in praising Chesley. He is an amazing principal who worked tirelessly.

I am guessing his dismissal is due to lower "Great Schools" rating, which potentially impacts real estates price (not that housing price in MV is at all affected by it), and thus property tax money that the district ultimately cares about.

I hope he will be given a principal post at a school district that would treat him with a respect that he richly deserves.


6 people like this
Posted by Conspiracy theorist
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 2, 2018 at 8:54 pm

Thank you to everyone who answered my questions, that was a productive discussion.
I don’t quite agree about the grooming behavior but I haven’t observed the situation too closely.
What is sad is that if he tries to come back, the school community is too weak to fight it :(


9 people like this
Posted by Mistral parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 2, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Can anyone shed light on WHEN these changes are being implemented? Are the principals being dropped right now, mid-year? Somehow I would think it would be much less disruptive to the school and students to change after year's end. If they are doing this now, I would like to have a better understanding from the district about their decision making. Whether or not we agree with this decision, we deserve an explanation for the further disruptions to our school... administration, construction, teacher changes and losses. More than anything, parents at Mistral want a sense of normalcy on campus.


13 people like this
Posted by Incoming 5th grade grahdm
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 2, 2018 at 10:58 pm

Wonderful to read everyone’s comments! I love that this discussion did not devolve into name calling and other trolling. Let’s stand together for a common cause of retaining the right leadership for our kids schools! Retain KIm Thompson at Graham, if that is where she continues to want to be.


19 people like this
Posted by Mistral parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 2, 2018 at 11:05 pm

@Mistral Teacher: so bitter. I hope you are not teaching my child.


50 people like this
Posted by landels parent and former MVWSD employee
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 6:53 am

I am outraged that Mr Chesley has been removed as principal without any explanation from the district. He is a phenomenal principal loved by parents and teachers alike. Likewise, Kim Thompson has given her whole self to her students and families. WE (parents and community members) voted the board to represent us and serve the best interest of our children, and this is what we are given? Unacceptable.
The district has a long history of trouble with transparency. Early in the process of voting on school boundary options I attended a district advisory meeting and asked how many students would be uprooted. His response was we will figure that out later. I quit the advisory committee that night as I couldn’t ethically give input to something without knowing how it would affect THE STUDENTS. And I don’t believe for a second the answer was anything but “we plan to uproot these kids, we just aren’t saying that yet.” As I said. Problems with transparency.
Parents are outraged and organizing to support our administrators. This is unacceptable and the board and DO must be held accountable.


29 people like this
Posted by Graham 8th Grade Parent & Huff Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 8:55 am

I have been so impressed with Principal Thompson at Graham. Her dedication to the students is exceptional. She is always there to cheer them on whether it be on the stage or on the field or in the classroom.

District Board, please reinstate Principal Thompson as she is instrumental to the continued success at Graham and the transition to the new schedule!


35 people like this
Posted by RUN THIS AUGUST
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:06 am

RUN THIS AUGUST is a registered user.

There are 5 members of the school.board. They serve 4-year terms. The terms are staggered - which could mean the incumbent end up as alcoholics staggering about. Or it may mean that 2 or 3 seats are up every 2 years. The next election of seats is next November. That means the deadline for running is in early August. Run yourself. To become a candidate, you must only be an adult citizen registered to vote in the district. See County Registrar of Voters website for details.


31 people like this
Posted by teacher
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:23 am

Vote out the school board that does NOT represent the people or the schools of Mountain View. Vote them ALL out. As another poster said, run for school board. Anyone is better than these shady, dishonest, unethical people on the current school board.

In addition, get the superintendent out. He has caused nothing but trouble. I can only say, that there has always been something or someone to complain about, but then there is a replacement with all the hype and people still complain. After people complained about Ghysels, look what happened. He doesn't seem so bad now, does he?


49 people like this
Posted by John Panzer
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

This lack of transparency is unacceptable. I do not know the other situations but as for Kim Thompson, she is an exceptional principal and has been a huge asset to Graham. Losing her (and apparently not by her choice nor as a reassignment to another school) makes no sense on its face. In combination with all of the other -- let's say it, firings -- this situation stinks.

This is unacceptable. I suggest if you are concerned that you write trustees@mvwsd.org and speak up at the Board meeting; I definitely plan to.

Coming on the heels of the disastrous "Teach To One" fiasco -- which let us be clear, was entirely Ayinde's fault and his responsibility -- I have zero confidence in any decisions he is making "in the dark". We need a bright light on all of this.


6 people like this
Posted by The More You Know . . .
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:57 am

Aren't their laws that prohibit full disclosure? If there are dont think we'll get the full story. Ugh.


46 people like this
Posted by You can make a difference
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2018 at 10:03 am

One thing we learned from TTO is that if anyone wants to take the time and effort to ask the right questions and gather the facts, you can likely get the school district to explain itself, if not reverse course on at least some of these decisions. It’s just a question of who wants to roll up their sleeves this time and turn the scews?

As for the decision to remove four principals at once, who, in their right mind would decide to create such a vacuum in leadership all at once? That seems foolish and ill advised.

If this school district is successful, it’s in spite of Rudolph and the board, not because of them. Eventually Rudolph will get his comeuppance and when that happens it will be a good day for our students. It starts at the ballot box next year.


38 people like this
Posted by Running for office
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 10:12 am

Keep in mind that two board members are up for election soon. It creates an opportunity for two people to run and make it clear they will, if elected, get rid of Rudolph. A pretty simple and desirable platform.


16 people like this
Posted by Hum
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2018 at 10:14 am

The district cant win on this move either way. We would blame them if they released one at a time. Question would be why so much turnover? Then speculation run amuck or they can do it all at once and still get grief.


14 people like this
Posted by RUN THIS AUGUST
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 10:17 am

RUN THIS AUGUST is a registered user.

The ballot box is in November - assuming more than two candidates run for the two seats in August.


26 people like this
Posted by GMS past parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 10:57 am

I have talked recently to well connected and hard-working volunteer parents at Graham. Although Principal Thompson is a nice person, that is not the same as being an effective ACADEMIC PROGRAM administrator. She has regularly failed at that people - look at the data! She has had 'a solution' for the continued failure, like Academic Vocabulary starting a few years ago. Her solutions do not work, but she continues to (nicely) explain how hard they are trying to fix things! If the MVWSD starts to be administered by Academic Achievement results matter - I hope that attitude, even by nice person administrators like Thompson are no longer tolerated. [4 math teachers left GMS after TTO. Thompson poorly administered, or if she was entirely not responsible - failed to nobly "resign in protest", or raise a public stink.]

Maybe some of the administrators will be promoted or assigned to different duties at the district office?

Community - wake up. Hispanic parents particularly. This district has had (before Rudolph showed up) one of the 20 Worst Academic Achievement Gaps between Whites and Hispanics in the country. That is real data from multi-year averages (2009-2013). It may be acceptable to certain parents at GMS - but I do not think the larger Mountain View Community accepts that. I sure hope the current board does accept that research conclusion from Real Data. And in the end, it is the entire community that votes for boards, not a subset of one school's parents.

It is Real Data that many parents will 'put their name on a petition for Thompson'. It is also true - many who will be glad to see her retire - do not want to be named. Real Data also shows her tenure has not been of very much significance - ACADEMICALLY.

Rudolph's arrogance (well documented in TTO fiasco)? I would agree the board needs to work on that, and not just dismiss it. The editorial of the Voice, this week, speaks clearly to that. (Editorial, pg 13)
Web Link

API 3 year average White-Hispanic GMS 2011-2013 952-712 = 240 ! the standard was 800


24 people like this
Posted by Mistral parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2018 at 11:03 am

The superintendent needs to stop trying to sabotoge Mistral.


22 people like this
Posted by Another Graham parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 11:16 am

I noticed on the Feb. 15 board agenda, right before "Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release," there was this gem: "Public Employee Performance Evaluation: Superintendent." Would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that one.

Write to the trustees: trustees@mvwsd.org
Write to the superintendent: supt@mvwsd.org
Sign the petition.
Fight.


24 people like this
Posted by Whisman friend
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 3, 2018 at 12:13 pm

I wonder how Ms. Smith (Former Huff Principal) is doing these days. She seems to be the winner in this whole entire fiasco after she was "Promoted" to the District forcing Mr. Chang to vacate the Principal position at Crittenden (After it has been doing so exceptionally well) only to be demoted to an Elementary Principal at Huff.

[Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Anyways, Mr. Chesley is a fantastic Principal that has many years in the district. He is young, energetic and a great motivator. I think Rudolph sucks and still wonder why he's still the Superintendent. Get rid of him now.


58 people like this
Posted by Alan Wessel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 1:54 pm

@GMS past parent

I don't understand why people keep on trying to blame Kim for the TTO fiasco. I have a complete set of district emails concerning TTO and she was the ONLY administrator to express reservations regarding the program. Ayinde selected that program and negotiated with the vendor himself with disastrous results.

Perhaps she is being "released" because she expressed those reservations?

> You think she should have raised a public stink?

Due to the non-disparagement clause in the contract negotiated by Ayinde she would have put the district in legal jeopardy if she had done so! Parents were not bound by that contract so I organized a parent group to create that stink!

> She should have quit?

If administrators in MVWSD quit every time Ayinde did something stupid we wouldn't have any left!


46 people like this
Posted by Alan Wessel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 2:54 pm

In less than 24 hours the petition to reinstate Kim Thompson has attracted over 400 supporters. You can add your support here: Web Link


20 people like this
Posted by ?
a resident of another community
on Mar 3, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Has anyone asked Ms. Thompson if she wants the petition? What if she has plans that do not involve continuing in her current role, and is happy with that decision? The same goes for the other admins. There is a lot of conjecture in this thread that does nobody any good.


36 people like this
Posted by Statistically Improbable
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 3, 2018 at 3:28 pm

@?

You really think a huge portion of the schools' principals decided they didn't want their job? All at once? The odds of that are vanishingly small.

And besides, if Ms. Thompson doesn't want such a petition, then she can at least realize that she's appreciated by the parents of her students, and take that gratitude wherever she goes.


31 people like this
Posted by Informed
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 3, 2018 at 4:31 pm

If people think that Mr. Chesley and Ms. Thompson wanted to leave they are wrong and uninformed. Having spoken directly to many people involved in this fiasco these administrators have been asked to leave and I have yet to find anyone at the school in support of it.


35 people like this
Posted by Landels Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm

Mr. Chesley has been at Landels for almost 3 years. From day 1, he stepped into the role, embraced it and has been an effective and tireless leader at Landels. I was always worried that he would move on to bigger and better things. This demotion is unimaginable.


10 people like this
Posted by Another Landels Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Mr. Chesley is a nice guy and works hard, but have you seen the most recent test scores for Landels? I want my child to go to a school where academic achievement is the most important focus for the principal.


38 people like this
Posted by Landels Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm

@Another Landels Parent
Academic achievement is one of many parts of a school, and test scores do not tell the whole story.
I want a well-rounded student in a school that focuses on the whole child, not test scores. I believe my kids get that at Landels.


85 people like this
Posted by Disappointed MVHS Junior
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Mar 3, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Hello all,
Excuse my colloquial language, but this is Bull***t. Steve Chesley and Kim Thompson are some of the greatest leaders that I have ever met, and have made a truly lasting impression on my life through youth and adolescence. A lot of what I see in this comment section and in the decision-making process are adults. Adults who, let's face it, have not seen the first-hand impact of these figures in our lives. In this comment section, I also see people saying that Ms. Thompson cannot make academic decisions, and that is why she is getting dropped. But to you, I ask you if that is more important than having someone who could be a model leader and a model citizen to children who are in their developmental phases. Kim Thompson is that person, and I can say that with full, unwavering confidence. Being an elementary/middle principal is a job that has a lot more responsibility than just academic decisions. Furthermore, with the gung-ho attitude towards education in our bubble, adults need to take a second and look at who they are raising and why. You should be trying to raise well-rounded, good human beings who have a sense of morality in this world. I am not saying your children are not that, but if you keep on being overzealous about only-education, your child will end up being an erudite, doltish person who, as a matter of fact, may be less capable of achieving your idea of success. You may know this, but education is only 5% of the product. Trust me, as I interact with these kids in high school on the daily basis. In our world, we do not need more people who have lost their sense of humanity (look at the current political situation). We need people who want to make our world a better place. Kim Thompson has undoubtedly and indefatigably integrated the values of graciousness, cordiality, and amiability into a countless amount of students. Mr. Chesley has been in my life since a very young age. He is determined, genuine, and has had such a positive influence in my life. He is the definition of a role-model in every field. He has made countless efforts to create the inclusive and holistic environment that is inherent of a fine institution. He is a breath of fresh air in the district. Dear Ayinde Fluke-dolph, I dare you to find people more adept and suited for their jobs as Kim Thompson and Steve Chesley. From the comments I have read, you and the Board are just as much of a failure as your TTO (so you should make like TTO and leave). Stop making solely academic-based decisions for the people who have a heavy influence on the personality and value set of children in their developmental phase. Adults, it is imperative and paramount for the leaders at these schools to be well-rounded. If she can’t make “academic decisions” (first of all, why are you blaming these decisions on her, they certainly had to be ran through the board/supe), then clarify WHAT YOU WANT before they make the decisions. This is mostly the fault of the Board, who need to be more inclusive of the general consensus in their deciding. School Board, get off your high horses, thank you in advance. If you want a good decision, it may be a good idea to collaborate with the youth and teens in the community. We have some good ideas, you just need to listen.


27 people like this
Posted by Action
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm

To our concerned community- Some actions you can take to voice your concerns are;
• Show your support for your administration by emailing them.
• Email HR - cghysels@mvwsd.org
• Email The Superintendent- arudolph@mvwsd.org
• Email the Board of trustees- lblakely@mvwsd.org, gcoladonato@mvwsd.org, jgutierrez@mvwsd.org, ewheeler@mvwsd.org, twilson@mvwsd.org
• Join the Facebook Group Landels Community Open Forum.
•Share your opinions on your Facebook page, make your post public and tag Mountain View Whisman School District
•Attend a meeting of concerned parents- TBA
•Sign a petition.
•Attend the upcoming MVWSD Board meeting on Wednesday, March 15.


31 people like this
Posted by Action Now
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 6:01 pm

To our concerned community- Some actions you can take to voice your concerns are;
• Show your support for your administration by emailing them.
• Email HR -
• Email The Superintendent-
• Email the Board of trustees- Web Link
• Join the Facebook Group Landels Community Open Forum.
•Share your opinions on your Facebook page, make your post public and tag Mountain View Whisman School District
•Attend a meeting of concerned parents- TBA
•Sign a petition.
•Attend the upcoming MVWSD Board meeting on Wednesday, March 15.


31 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 3, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

I just signed the petition supporting Ms. Thompson, I hope others consider signing it too. I sign not because I think it will or should compel the district to reverse its decision, but I sign because MVWSD needs to stop sending the message to educators who dedicate their career to our community that they are expendable. We need honor those who give years of service. Petition link: Web Link


20 people like this
Posted by Former Mistral (Castr) Parent
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2018 at 7:57 pm

I was disappointed and sad when Marcela Simoes de Carvalho became principal at Mistral. She was a terrible teacher. She lacked leadership, patience, and common sense. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]
I wish the best for Mistral. Despite Marcela Simoes de Carvalho, the community and the majority of the teachers at the school are amazing and I hope this means good things are to come.


22 people like this
Posted by No good enough
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm

I don’t know all of the ins and outs each situation....but what I do know is this is not how a public institution charged with the education of your minds should behave. Looks like they need invest in stakeholder management classes. I expect more....we live in one of richest cities in one of the richest counties in the richest state in the US! We need to demand a higher level of professionalism that puts the children first!


26 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 3, 2018 at 9:37 pm

It's time to use the same words back at the school board and Superintendent. "We are grateful for their service," But it's time to vote in new leadership and a bring in a new leader of the district who actually understands the community. This community supports our schools and teachers and principals - it's the board and Superintendent that have disappointed us. And please join and support "savecooperpark.org"


35 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 7:54 am

In any organization, whose responsibility is it to train, promote, support, and provide necessary resources to the department or program managers? Their manager!

If these principals failed badly enough to be demoted, who should be held responsible? The Superintendent!

I think the Board now has a new job at hand. They need to find a Superintendent who accepts the responsibility of developing successful leaders to be a successful organization.


11 people like this
Posted by @voter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 9:39 am

Thank you. There has to be some responsibility for the miserable failed academic achievement GAP that has persisted in this district for a long time. Trustee Wheeler? Why has she supported a system that results in such a national disgrace when it comes to Hispanic students? She has verbally supported Castro improvement over the years - but she has also voted closed down a school for economically disadvantaged pre-schoolers (so Stevenson PACT could take over the buildings)

Kim Thompson is a caring elementary teacher. She is a caring rah-rah administrator for the feel-good part of middle school education (important but not the primary part of education). Thompson is a failure at making a significant budge in White-Hispanic academic achievement gaps. Check the API data during her tenure - check the Smarter Balance data over the last two years.

Perhaps Mr. Chesley has the same problem at Landels, as one parent noted. There is a lot less data on that, and there is plenty of data on Thompson. When she tood over, GMS was somewhere in the 70%-80% of comparison school in API. After several years - GMS degraded down to 20%-30% in comparative schools state rankings. (as GMS past parent I tracked that). Wessel you are just in error. Thompson did not in any way rescue GMS academically! And certainly, she did not rescue Hispanic students academically.

GMS and the three elementary schools will adjust to different administrators. They and other schools have in the past and will in the future.

Principals are administrators - and the parents do not choose! Chris Chang - should parents 'choose' teachers for employment? Most new school principal decisions, good ones, involve some parent/PTA consultation. But like choosing a new superintendent, the choice is not a direct-parent choice. All VOTERS have the choice to choose - or loose - particular school board members.


18 people like this
Posted by Claire @Landels
a resident of Whisman Station
on Mar 4, 2018 at 10:10 am

Due to overwhelming demand, we too have started a petition to reinstate Principal Steve Chesley.

Please sign here...

Web Link


7 people like this
Posted by TH parent
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 4, 2018 at 10:28 am

I, for one, would be happy to have Mr Chesley as our new principal if he is so great. Not that I have anything against Mr Santiago, but since we are losing him anyway...


34 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 10:34 am

Speculating on why this happened will get us nowhere. We need to focus on how it happened. Just weeks before high-stakes annual testing, and in the middle of major construction projects at the school sites, Dr. Rudolph drops the proverbial “bomb” at 4 of the district’s sites, creating a leadership vacuum at the most critical level, and creating very upset communities. The stakeholders of both Graham and Landels are voicing strong support for their ousted administrators, and are organizing to reverse the decision.

Since we already have a leadership vacuum at the top levels (based on my personal view of the Board supporting this decision 5-0), once again the Mountain View voters need to stand up. November is too late.

If Dr. Rudolph does not tender his resignation on his own, we once again need to push. Our children deserve better!


20 people like this
Posted by Voter2
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:03 am

I agree with voter.

If these “job changes” came as a surprise to these principals, there is a big problem. Did the manager or “superintendent” in this case coach and manage them? I presume there is a process to put “poor performers” on a plan to document and guide that process if it led to the ultimate demotion or firing?

If there is no process there needs to be one. If the process was not followed this could end up in litigation against the district. Just what we need after losing $$$ on TTO.


45 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:19 am

Christopher Chiang is a registered user.

I don't expect the district to do a do over, but they should publicly say they went about it the wrong way, and announce these changes again, but start again by listing the many accomplishments and years of service these educators have provided. How this went down is more telling then what went down, since it shows how we care or don't care for those who work directly with the students and families. Change or no change, Ms. Thompson and company deserves celebrating. It's not too late to shift the tone, even if you don't shift the outcome. I've been there before, in crisis, the board feels the need to defend the district, but in crisis, the board's duty is to bridge the divide, admit wrongs or misunderstandings, rebuild trust through empathy-led communication and possibly actions. The board should help the district, now largely led by new staff, to understand MV's "small town" school culture of viewing site staff more as family than technicians soley hired to achieve targeted metrics. This may be the Silicon Valley, but children and teachers aren't data dashboards. Those who say that metrics is the way to solve the achievement gap have it wrong, the achievement gap is sustainably solved through relationships and relevance, both require us to honor the professionals in our schools. Good data is a great tool for educators, but not the definition of great educators. I've seen many great educators across the nation, Ms. Thompson is a great educator.


33 people like this
Posted by Achievement gap
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Let’s face it, achievement gap is there NOT because of teachers/administrators not doing enough; it is there because so many families are not able to provide support to their kids at home.
Also, if the gap narrows (as shown by test scores), what matters is how it was achieved. Were kids from lower performing schools not allowed to have field trips and other fun days because they needed to be drilled for the tests?
Judging educators solely on academic scores of the school is just wrong. I do hope it was not the case here.


18 people like this
Posted by DG
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm

DG is a registered user.

All of you who comment on the lack of transparency in this situation should be aware the school district, cannot, by law, comment publicly on employee performance in specific terms. It may only be discussed in closed sessions. If you don't trust any/all school board members, by all means vote them out. But if these personnel actions are performance-related, you will never know the specific facts behind them.


29 people like this
Posted by Landels Community Member
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm

MVWSD: Please provide evidence that removing a principle in this district reduces achievement gaps and improves test scores.


24 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:44 pm

If test scores are what the district seems to be focused on, students across the district should have a sit-in and boycott the tests or better yet be called in sick on test days - maybe if the scores tank the board and superintendent will be replaced faster.


40 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:47 pm

This board and this superintendent seem to repeatedly make their decisions in some kind of vacuum that repeatedly blindsides the students, parents, and staff of this district.

- ending of ISP
- removal of administrators
- proposal to sell public land (Cooper School site) used as playing fields and potential future school site
- supporting large scale development without long term plan of how to deal with future enrollment

Either they are working with bad data and advisors or they are willfully arrogant in their decision making. Of course these things are not mutually exclusive. It's time for those who live in this district (not just the parents) to actively engage these board members and the superintendent to let them know that it is not okay to jeopardize the future of our children. We want whole children who act with empathy, work collaboratively, and have critical thinking skills, not just test takers with high API scores. The board and this superintendent need to check their egos and start modeling this behavior to all the staff of our district and our students.


42 people like this
Posted by Elaine
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Interesting that the Sup. and Board seem to be showing a pattern in the way they make decisions for our district.

Here is a post I read that was made regarding the recent and abrupt announcement of discontinuing the homeschool program in the district:

"Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the homeschooling program, I find it extremely troubling that no one at the district office thought it worth a few moments of time to inform the families in the program, and the teacher who was running it and depending on that salary, that they were considering discontinuing the program.

Sadly, this is a pattern that shows up again and again with our current supe and his staff. Don't we pay a communications officer a generous salary to communicate with the families paying taxes and passing bonds? I find the high-handed attitude really off-putting."


Sound familiar?


43 people like this
Posted by @ Achievement Gap
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:48 pm

THANK You for saying what I’ve wanted to. Having been at Monta Loma for 5 years I have to say first hand that the gap comes not from a bad principal but from differing levels of support at home. There is only so much even a team of educators at school can do to close the gam. Sadly, we don’t have teams. We mayyyyybe have 1 person. The gap won’t go away even though Dr. Rudolph thinks he can make it disappear.
These administrators who were let go probably know this but still worked tirelessly to help all students thrive no matter their test scores. You can’t work magic but you can support all students as they have. It’s hard to please Dr. Rudolph because many of his ideas are outlandish.
Parents, speak up and prepare for a fight or pull out now because this is just one more thorn in the side of your child’s education.


34 people like this
Posted by Bertha Rivas
a resident of another community
on Mar 4, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Former MVWSD GMS Employee
I worked for Mr. Chesley and Ms. K. Thomson for 3 years both were great administrators.


17 people like this
Posted by @voter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

so - which Trustee to target in November? If you think a recall will work - talk to Chiang about his campaign for recalling Trustee Nelson.

Wheeler? or Coladonado?

When Superintendent Randolph came up for his first performance evaluation and the first vote to give-him-a-big-raise was it Wheeler or Coladonado who voted YES- BIG RAISE (Wheeler). Conadonado you can check was a no.

Mr Chiang is misguided about how administration works in a public institution. Which is surprising considering he has an administrative credential! Maybe he has a better understanding of how politics work - he can count the number of names on an electronic petition, and realize a-few-hundred names really means nothing when a few thousand registered voters (not just names) need to cast their ballots for a successful candidate or ballot measure in MVWSD.


33 people like this
Posted by Once again
a resident of Shoreline West
on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

@Seriosly
You can also add the middle school bell schedule to the list of decisions made in a vacuum by the superintendent and the board. Most middle school teachers do not support this bell schedule and not because the teachers don’t want electives for all children. Ayinde was very comfortable allowing the board to think the teachers supported the new schedule and the board did no do their due dillegence by asking questions. I posted this statement last year and I am posting it again — Laura, Jose, Greg, Ellen, and Tamara get off your computers and get out of the boardroom. Visit a couple of schools every month. Have lunch with the teachers, talk to the students, and meet with parents. Ayinde and his admin team are giving you one perspective. Find out what other perspectives are out there.


30 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:56 pm

You can't change public schools fast enough for it to benefit your children so you always have to think in terms of community long-term best interest. With all the fiascos we've had in the time my family has been part of MVWSD - the scandals in the district office have been embarrassing - Is the $234,700 that the superintendent is paid worth the costs he's making the district incur (disaster math program, paying outside consulting companies to build 3 story condos in a single story neighborhood, taking away choice programs, removing loved principals and the list goes on. It's time for change! Election time is coming need board members with the right vision and a new leader.

Web Link


26 people like this
Posted by @ Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 4, 2018 at 6:49 pm

You seem to have a lot of opinions now that you are off the Board. You also seem to think you are an expert on communication, which was one of the main issues when you were on the Board. Might I remind you that your tenure on the Board was cut short when you decided to resign when you couldn't take the heat.

The district made some personnel moves and can't comment because of the confidentiality that the law requires on personnel items. I think most people, including you, would be grateful for that confidentiality if they were in the same position.

Let's let these people leave gracefully and without a digital footprint that will follow them wherever they choose to go in the future.


37 people like this
Posted by Achievement gap
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

While I believe that the achievement gap can and should be closed, it certainly is not done by demoting good admins and/or shuffling admins around. It is also not closed by undermining any kind of alternative programs, nor is it closed by basically bullying families into going to their neighborhood schools by eliminating whatever meager choice there was.
It is eliminated by making sure there are extra teachers and teacher assistants in low performing schools, lower student staff ratios, free full day preschool for low income families, special staff that organize things for lower performing schools which normally would be organized and run by PTA. Raises for teachers in high poverty schools (not contingent on scores) would also work magic.


34 people like this
Posted by Support Steve Chesley!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:14 pm

A group of parents has formed to support Steve Chesley, former Assistant Principal at Graham and current Principal at Landels. They have a petition here:
Web Link


49 people like this
Posted by Vote them all out
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:18 pm

All five trustees voted in favor of getting rid of our principals. So none of them deserve our support.

We should vote them all out of office, starting with Ellen and Greg this November.


23 people like this
Posted by Jamie@Landels
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 5, 2018 at 6:35 am

With regard to our call for transparency: it does not need to take the form of specifics as to why each individual was released. The board could speak as to how they believe these changes will benefit our children. In addition, previously, parents and staff were given the opportunity to give input when searching for a new
Principal. Was is it different this time? Why has someone already been assigned to Landels? To speak to another comment that parents and students don’t hire administrators, it’s the lack of consistency that concerns me. I worked for the district for 7 years and standardizing protocol across the district was a main goal. I’m not even asking for consistency across the district here. Just in the practices of bringing in administration at one school!


9 people like this
Posted by @voter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 8:54 am

Good idea for Trustees to officially visit schools and classrooms. Perhaps there should be a school board policy on that, so the superintendent or principals will not prevent trustees from visiting "problem areas." But maybe such a policy should be clear, no more than two a month, not the same school in two months, and not more than an hour or two. Do you think a principal having trouble with TTO, or anything else, would really let a trustee visit and observe and talk privately with teachers?


19 people like this
Posted by Aboveboardboard?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 9:13 am


I think the parents should question the shady board practices. Definitely, not above board. There were some blurry lines between being a board member/parent/spouse role in the decision to rile up parent communities and suggesting them they are getting the short end of the stick. These parents listened because it was coming from a board member. Parents were blindsided. Now they can have their unknown situation, it's 50/50!


22 people like this
Posted by Aboveboardboard?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 9:16 am

@good bye Ayinde, teacher turnover is not always about the principal and you know it! And as far as I can recall, principal of mistral being an admin before, was when Maurice was making room for Carmen as novice admin so he had to shuffle around for her arrival. And Carmen is still kicking as a sidekick. Can someone tell e how Carmen has done this all these years? No one liked C at Castro and we were all relieved when she left. She did not speak Spanish and the community did not trust her. The teachers liked her because she gave them free reign and did not know how to give real feedback.


37 people like this
Posted by Aboveboardboard?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 9:19 am

I would question board members and ask them if they abided by legal practices of the board. Some members may not know how other members blurred lines but fortunately, we can vote them out. Ayinde is a master spin artist and he sure knows how to keep his job. He is not part of our MV community, these 4 principals are part of our community.
Vote the board out. Remove Ayinde and Carmen!


24 people like this
Posted by Voter
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 12:16 pm

We should consider the possibility that we have some good people on the board making difficult decisions about administrators we adore.


49 people like this
Posted by Where'stherespect?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Mar 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm

I have never in all my years of working in the education sector seen people/educators treated so disgracefully. These are this district's frontline staff, these are the people that oversee and have overseen the education and safety of our children for years. Where is the respect?

The manner in which these changes have been announced, the manner in which the educators and their staff have been informed and the fact that good people whom as far as we know have done nothing wrong are now up before the court of public opinion, their livelihoods up for discussion is morally and ethically wrong. How disgraceful! Shame on MVWSD for the manner you have handled this.

There is no question as to the fact a board has to make decisions but one would expect a level of professionalism and courtesy when delivering the very public outcome of these decisions. Instead we are hanging much loved educators such as Mr Chesley out to dry and then citing privacy!

A certain level of transparency is needed and a concerted and focused brush up on the way the board communicates to the very people they are directly effecting.

This is not a business! These are working people, children and communities. If there are reasons, then provide context for the sake of everyone but most especially the educators in question, for example are qualified educators needed to help in other schools that are struggling perhaps? Is there a long term plan for the betterment of the district in place by removing successful and respected principals such as Mr Chesley. Who knows? We can but speculate!


50 people like this
Posted by @voter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Yes I considered that possibility.

And then I considered the possibility that we have a vain arrogant superintendent who decided he didn't like these strong community leaders and got rid of them.

Knowing what I do about Kim and Steve on one hand and Ayinde on the other I'm convinced it is the latter. And if our board members can't see that then they don't serve this community and should be removed.


15 people like this
Posted by Mountain Lion
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 5, 2018 at 1:57 pm

I really don’t know anything about Chesley other than he seems like a nice guy, but has anybody talked to him? If the board voted 5:0 maybe there is a very good reason for this and maybe he doesn’t want more transparency as it could hurt his career in the future. Just my thoughts


23 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 5, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Has anyone considered setting up a petition indicating a general community lack of confidence in a. the current MVWSD board and b. the current Superintendent? - Would this in any way put these folks on notice that they do NOT have the support of the community for the decisions they are making in general. I don't want them to commit tax payer resources that are short sighted and lack community support.


9 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 5, 2018 at 2:03 pm

Has anyone considered setting up a petition indicating a general community lack of confidence in a. the current MVWSD board and b. the current Superintendent? Would this in any way put these folks on notice that they do NOT have the support of the community for the decisions they are making in general. I don't want them to commit tax payer resources that are short sighted and lack community support.


35 people like this
Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 5, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Old Steve is a registered user.

Every time some decision is made that is unpopular, calls to replace Board Members abound. Let's be clear, when Dr. Rudolph came aboard, ours was not the most desirable Supt Job in Silicon Valley. That dysfunctional board resulted from an election where change was demanded. The change we got did very few of us any good. My personal opinion is that Former Trustee Chiang should contribute his expertise, but his opinion is now just as valid as the rest of us, since he surrendered his chance to have an impact on the board.

Administrative changes have to be made in closed session, it is the law. It is the board's job to advise the superintendent, but by law, He is their only direct hire. They have chosen to validate his decision 5-0. Perfomance Plans and such may very well have been done, butt those are not public documents. Folks with complaints about the performance of Ms. Ghysels should take those up with the Board and Superintendent directly. Airing them here does nobody any good.


19 people like this
Posted by MV Landels parent
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Mar 5, 2018 at 11:17 pm

MV Landels parent is a registered user.

More info on the much referred to TTO program:

Web Link

From my experience as a parent of a Landels Lion, and reading comments here, there seems to be a disconnect between what parents think and what superintendent/board members (district) think in regards to the performance of principals in question.

As parents/residents of MV, I believe we have the right to scrutinize and provide our inputs into decisions that may have a lasting effect on our children and community. One way of doing that is transparency by the district. If the district made a just decision, transparency will only validate their action(s).

It seems the district decided to “drop” these principals based on their lack of performance. We are not asking for the district to “comment publicly on employee performance in specific terms,” as this can be quite subjective based on a set of arbitrary objectives. What would be helpful is seeing those objectives and let the parents/community decide whether it is valid measure of performance, to close that disconnect between parents and the district. Unless of course, if the principals in question prefer privacy.


10 people like this
Posted by Graham Alum Family
a resident of Waverly Park
on Mar 11, 2018 at 7:32 am

Graham Alum Family is a registered user.

Folks,

Per the MVWSD website,

The Board of Trustees generally meets the first and third Thursday of each month, except the month of July. Meetings are held at the Graham Middle School MUR, 1175 Castro Street. Please check agenda for actual start time. Members of the public are encouraged to attend these meetings.

The Governance Calendar shows items that will be considered or discussed at Board meetings during the school year. Please note that items may be added, removed, or changed to a different date.

Board meetings notes are archived and even recorded so you can stay up-to-date.

Web Link

If my Thursday counting is correct that would mean there s/b a board meeting this Thursday? 15-March. Who else is planning to go?


6 people like this
Posted by An Interested Observer
a resident of another community
on Mar 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

An Interested Observer is a registered user.

@Old Steve - thank you for your sane thinking. I so agree with you.


6 people like this
Posted by MV Resident For 55 Years
a resident of North Whisman
on Mar 18, 2018 at 12:32 pm

MV Resident For 55 Years is a registered user.

FYI - I will be there as a Theuerkauf parent.

---------------------------
Next steps: Principal selection process
Friday, March 16, 2018 6:10 PM
From: "MVWSD" <supt@mvwsd.org>

Dear Parents,

As part of its search for a new principal for Theuerkauf, the District is seeking parent and staff feedback through focus groups, as well as online. Your input is valued and appreciated.

We welcome Theuerkauf’s staff members and parents to a session on:

Tuesday, March 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Theuerkauf library. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

We know time is limited. If you prefer, you may contribute thoughts anytime on the attributes you would like to see in your school’s new leader online here.

A representative group will interview the candidates. The school’s interview team will include teachers from a range of content areas and grades, classified staff members, administrators, and parents from PTA, School Site Council and ELAC (English Language Advisory Committee).

Timeline and Steps

• March 5-16 : Position opening is advertised
• March 16-22: Feedback from the school community will be gathered
• March 23-30: Principal interviews
• April 19: Superintendent presents to Board for final approval
• April 20: Present candidate to staff and community

Thank you for your support of our school.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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