.by Anura Guruge
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With possibly one small exception, and ‘small‘ here is THE keyword, I really haven’t had any issues with the teaching staff at Alton Central. In general I find them to be a great bunch and we have been lucky to have had some very exceptional teachers for both Devanee and Teischan.
Yesterday’s ‘Back to School Night’ just confirmed my long held (since 2007 when Devanee started attending ACS) beliefs that we have some wonderful teachers at ACS. I feel bad about the ‘politics’, much of it having to do with The Board, that must drive them to distraction. Yes, it would be nice if they had a better, newer school BUT I was kind of surprised to see how well the Middle School was equipped and how BIG Teischan’s 2nd Grade classroom was. I went to school in a 3rd world, dirt poor country. There were 60 kids per class and our classrooms were 1/4 of the size of Teischan’s room for 19 or 20 kids. We managed and I did get one heck of an education!
Teischan has a teacher that was Devanee’s teacher 6 years ago. So we know her, we like her and she knows us. So that was good. We are happy.
Devanee is back at ACS after a 18 month hiatus after we took her out in February 2012 because of bullying. I am still not 100% happy that she is back at ACS. I worry. But trying to homeschool her was very stressful for Deanna though Devanee did do quite well with homeschooling.
All of the Middle School and the teachers there were new to me. I really had had no exposure to them. We spoke to 4 of them and I was very favorably impressed and grateful. Some very committed, dedicated and talented folks here. That is good. I heard Mr. LaFreniere tell another parent, while we were in line, that he would come in on a Saturday morning if a kid needed additional help. My ears pricked up. That is dedication beyond the call of duty. Then this morning Deanna woke me up, just after a 8 (and as such 20 – 30 minutes ahead of my normal wakey-wakey time) saying ‘Have you seen this … Mr. LaFreniere has given out his cell phone number?’. Neat. This is all good. I am glad. Mr. Brown the Social Studies teacher actually knew some place names from Sri Lanka. I was delighted. [Not many folks in NH know where Sri Lanka is, let alone know of any place names.] This is all good.
Deanna and I, individually and together, spoke with Mikel LaChapell, the Assistant Principal. This is the first time I have really had a chat with him. We had a good discussion about bullying and school safety. he now knows where we are coming from. If Devanee experiences any bullying this time around we will not pussyfoot around. I think everybody kind of knows that.
So, that is where we are at. We were impressed. We were happy. Lets hope we can have an uneventful year at school — though I already know, because of a phone call we got from a prominent Alton businessman this morning, that the fireworks at the Board Meeting will continue. What fun. But, thankfully, none of the issues should impinge on the teachers — other than the ‘Common Core’ tussle, but the school is at ‘Rotate’ for the 2013-2014 school year. So that cannot be changed. [‘Rotate’ is the aeronautical term used by pilots during takeoff. At ‘rotate’ you are committed to the takeoff. You can’t change your mind. You have to get the wheels off the ground even if you are going to be crashing!]