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OUR OPINION: West Middle School concerns deserve attention

OUR OPINION: West Middle School concerns deserve attention

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We do not profess to know the exact breadth or depth of problems within the walls of Sioux City's West Middle School, but we believe concerns of some teachers shared with Superintendent Paul Gausman and Board of Education members and broached at the board's public meeting on Monday deserve attention.

At the meeting, three school board directors - Dan Greenwell, Taylor Goodvin and Monique Scarlett - referenced an eight-page document prepared by those teachers and provided to the superintendent and all members of the board.

The document listed concerns within these categories: Leadership and communication, district directives and fidelity of program implementation, academics, student behavior and staffing.

Because they speak to the overall environment for learning at West Middle School, the concerns shouldn't be ignored or diminished by our local public school system.

For today, we make no judgments and cast no blame related to issues raised in the document prepared by teachers, but we view the concerns as detailed and serious enough to warrant a full district investigation.

The investigation should include additional input from teachers as well as perspectives of students, parents, staff and administrators. Anyone who wishes to speak up, through whatever opportunities the district provides, should be assured no retribution of any kind will happen as a result.

A district plan to clear the air, identify the extent of problems and, if necessary, take appropriate actions to solve problems should begin immediately. The district should report to the public on what it learned and what it did as a result.

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