Instructions: Answer in one page how you would react as a principal to the following scenario. Justify your answer; be very specific and detailed in written response.
Stantonsburg’s population is growing at a significant pace and new housing developments are continuously being built to target medium to high-income families. The community is closely aligned with the school district and participates in community meetings where specific goals are established for the school district. In addition, the community actively supports community schools with funding and volunteer programs.
Leadership School District serves approximately 80,000 students. Although 70% of the school district’s population is Latino, Leadership High School is located in the urban area of Stantonsburg and reflects an ethnically balanced population. The school provides educational services to a population of 35% Latino, 30% Caucasian, 20% Native American, 10% African-American, and 5% Asian students. With an enrollment of 1,800 students, the school provides programs to students in grades 9 – 12. Additionally, it provides support to students with special needs including those who qualify for programs such AIG (Academic and Intellectually Gifted), ESL (English as a Second Language), LEP (Limited English Proficiency) and Exceptional Children’s students.
Leadership High School has a staff of 125 teachers, four assistant principals, three counselors, two part-time campus security staff, an itinerant psychologist, a social worker, a school resource officer, and the usual classified support staff. The school is well recognized in the community because of the faculty’s commitment toward interdisciplinary teaching and MTSS (Multi-Tier Systems of Supports). Students have the opportunity to individualize their studies in specific areas of interest such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
School activities and events are widely featured in the local newspaper as well as being highlighted on the county’s television stations. School Board members visit the school frequently and two members are currently running for City Council. The School Board members have been previously divided by many issues including hiring personnel, transferring employees, managing racial conflicts, school assignments, and funding programs. The superintendent is in his third year and has worked previously as the associate superintendent and principal for this district. Special interest groups continue to have a strong impact on the selection of School Board members and superintendents. Some of these groups include IDA (International Disability Alliance), CHFC (Committee for Hispanic Families and Children), PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement Colored People), The Good Old Boys Monday Night Group, and the Yadkin-Philadelphia Church Association.
In this case, assume that you are a newly employed assistant principal, Leadership High School.
The school principal and your colleagues, who are also assistant principals, have left the school for three days to attend the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) conference. As she will be absent, the principal has asked you to help with a parent complaint issued by Mrs. Brown. She has three sons enrolled at Leadership who have Sickle Cell Anemia. They are excellent students enrolled in traditional honors classes. Due to their health needs and the progression of their illness, Mrs. Brown’s sons have nurses assigned to them 24 hours a day. During school hours, registered nurses are provided and paid for by the school district.
Mrs. Brown has issued several verbal complaints to the principal and to the EC Director about one of the nurses, Mrs. Hill, who she says has problems relating to one of her sons, Joshua. She has complained for example, that Mrs. Hill is constantly late in the morning. She has been assigned to accompany Joshua but without Mrs. Hill, because she hadn’t arrived on time. Mrs. Brown is concerned because even though the other nurses are on the bus, there have been times when each boy needed to have special medical attention concurrently. In the past, some of the situations have been so severe that they have been described as medical emergencies.
A few months ago, Mrs. Brown issued a written complaint requesting the removal of the nurse, Mrs. Hill. The parents, Mrs. Hill and the principal met to discuss their differences, and an agreement was reached to transfer Mrs. Hill to a different assignment in the district. In the meantime, Mrs. Brown decided to keep Joshua at home until the school district found a replacement nurse for Joshua. The district informed Mrs. Brown that at least an eight-week period of time would be required to allow for fingerprinting and other procedures to take place for another nurse to take Mrs. Hill’s place.
As the assistant principal, you locate an assistant teacher who is willing to travel with Joshua from home to school in the afternoons. You suggest to the EC Director that she contact a temporary employment agency that has nurses for placement who have already gone through the fingerprinting process. She reports back to you that she has located three nurses from the agency who could take the job. She also informs you the district’s Human Resources Department director has agreed to hire one of the three nurses. Mrs. Brown is informed of this situation and she is satisfied that her son will be able to start school shortly.
On Thursday of the same week, the Human Resources Assistant Director contacts you by telephone and informs you that he has thought about the situation and now refuses to accept for employment purposes, a nurse from the agency. When you request that he call the parent with the status change, he refuses and makes it clear that it is your job to contact the parents. You do so, and of course Mrs. Brown is furious. She proceeds to tell you that she intends to attend the School Board meeting on Friday along with her sons, a special education advocate, legal representation, and a news reporter.
Questions to Consider