Let's look at the whole picture

| 28 Feb 2012 | 05:09

    This is in response to Barbara Carter’s letter in which she discusses the Upper Greenwood Lake School, test scores, and reading program. This was Mrs. Carter’s second letter where she unjustly demeans the UGL School and talks about her views regarding the reading program. But let’s look at the whole picture.

    I was raised to believe that you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem. You, Mrs. Carter, have decided to be part of the problem by writing these “Dear Editors.” We (principal, staff, parents, and most importantly the students) are working very hard to grow and be a stronger school. We are all committed to it. It will not happen overnight; it will take time. Do your homework! The “reading program” is called Reader’s Workshop, which any parent who attended our Family Literacy Night can tell you, and it has drastically changed the culture of reading at our school. Your comments only undermine the great things going on in our classrooms. You, Mrs. Carter, are hurting kids! Your letter also fails to recognize scores in other grade levels that showed marked improvement from the previous year. The effort and time that are now put into reading have greatly improved with this program.

    I will not speak details about the program since many have done that already, but I will tell you what I see in the UGL School. I see children who are excited about reading. Read Across America week has turned in to a holiday for our kids with a lot of parental involvement. My first grader will have the full benefit from the new “reading program” over the next few years, and he’s off to a great start. We have our first Battle of the Books this year. We have school pride back. Without a doubt, great things are happening in UGL School to provide a well-rounded education for our children. Mr. Novak’s leadership, teaching staff dedication, and parent support are working together to greatly enhance the educational experience for our students. Not only are we working toward getting our scores up, we are raising the bar for school culture and community. Our students are learning to love school.

    When a board member puts down schools for the benefit of being heard, he or she should ask him/herself these two questions: Why am I sitting on the board of education? Am I an effective board member? You are not uncovering a big secret. You are hurting a community and children. I am choosing to believe in our principal, our staff, and our children. I wish all of our school board members would do the same.

    This letter reflects my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of the Upper Greenwood Lake PTA board on which I sit.

    Heather Commoreto Hewitt