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Burnett discharged as principal; fight continues to boost scores, renew charter

Principal Dayphne Burnett lobbed a few criticisms at the board as it announced the end of her tenure Intercultural Charter.

The board’s monthly meeting, May 24, also featured a half-hour presentation on the charter renewal process from Adam Hawf, the Recovery School District’s deputy superintendent of portfolios.

The school seeks a three-year renewal of its charter, which expires in a year.

Hawf said the renewal process will hinge on an evaluation of three areas:  academic, financial, and legal/contractual performance.

Academic scores top the list of importance in the final decision, Hawf said.

A score of 75 or higher is needed in at least one of three areas: the school’s  performance score, its assessment index (raw test scores, before attendance is factored in) or growth in the school performance score.

During its financial analysis, RSD takes into account whether reports were submitted accurately and on time, if the school has a positive fund balance, and the opinion of the school auditor, among other factors.

Hawf called the legal and contractual element “the grayest of the three areas,” but that it includes a school’s facilities and its special-education program, which are of particular concern to the Recovery School District.

“These two specific areas are measurable and meaningful to students,” Hawf said.

Site visits will continue through October, at which point Hawf said he will make his final recommendation to the Board of Secondary and Elementary Education (BESE).

The school will be notified of the outcome in October, and the information will be released to the public at BESE’s Dec. 5 meeting.

After Hawf left the meeting, the board voted unanimously to continue the renewal process. The school’s charter stipulates that all members must be in agreement for the renewal process to continue.

Burnett then discussed the school’s results on the standardized state LEAP test. The school’s current score of 73.1 comprises 90 percent of the total performance score, once attendance, dropout rates, and summer re-tests are factored in.

Burnett noted the school has good attendance and a 0% dropout rate.

While she expressed optimism, she said she could not be sure that the additional factors would boost Intercultural above the threshold of 75.

Board secretary Kathleen Carlin then read a statement: “At a special meeting held by the Intercultural Charter board on April 19, 2012, after considering the needs of the Intercultural Charter School, the board voted with a quorum, not to renew Ms. Dayphne Burnett’s contract for the 2012-2013 school year.”

“We want to thank you for everything you have done for us this year. We do appreciate what you have done,” board member Cam Tam-Tranh said.

Burnett replied: “I hope whoever the board puts in place to be the administrator of the school, will get leadership support from this board.”

“I have never worked in an environment where I was not evaluated. I would hope next year, the board pays more attention, and gives more support to the principal and the person in charge of fiscal management,” Burnett continued.

She went on to say that only three board members came to the school to visit classrooms and give her feedback, and that board meetings were held without her knowledge.

“This has not been an equitable experience. Everybody has opinions, but they have not come into the school, or been a part of this environment,” Burnett said.

“When I hear stuff from parents, “ Burnett continued, “things being said about the school, or that they hear the school is getting rid of me as principal at a Viet function that happens on the weekends, I really don’t appreciate that.”

Tam-Tranh replied: “While some of the things you said are not true, we’re not going to fight about that. Good luck with your future and I’m sorry that it didn’t work out.”

The meeting ran from 6 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

The next scheduled meeting is June 21 at 6 p.m.

 

 

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