This blog is designed to be a gathering place for Colville Parents to chat about our schools, share information and work together to better our school districts. I believe there is nothing more important in life than our children.
I’m hoping this blog will help those students who can’t help themselves and those parents who have become discouraged.
I have personally been frustrated with our school district because, as the care takers of our children, I would like to believe I can trust them. But when people hide information from me, I tend to sit up and pay attention, especially when it comes to my children.
I also know that there are people who feel used, abused, stepped on and spit out by the Colville school system. These people include students, parents, staff and teachers. It appears that if you are not one of the “in crowd” in this community, you surely aren’t going to be treated like you are. In the six years I have been following the school board, my husband and I have been taken aside by many of these people and urged to keep it up. If not for their urgings, I may have stopped long ago. My goal with this blog is to help the good people of Colville.
My name is Lynette Martin. Even as a small child, my goal was to learn the truth in life. I didn’t just accept what I was told, I questioned it to the detriment of my backside more often than I probably should have.
When my children started having difficulties in the Colville school district, I tried to help them, only to find a monstrous administration that seemed to prefer putting up a fight with parents while strong arming some children into a category contrary to their needs and desires. Through the years I’ve fought to learn many things the district didn’t seem to want me to know.
The big question is why would people who say they have “the best interest of our children” give the appearance of hiding information from the parents? If they are doing something good – then why hide it? Isn’t the answer that people only hide something if they don’t want others to know about it? So what is it they don’t want us to know, and why?
The dirty little secret is that schools are a business. The job of a business is to make money. The school district makes a specific dollar amount every day your child attends school. The school district also makes more money per special needs students than it does for average or above average students. I was once told in confidence that schools intentionally under educate our children so they can make more money on them. I have no actual proof of this happening in Colville but I do have information that alludes to it.
The pages of this blog will provide information that shows how it seems to be all about the money over and over and over again.
Here’s the first tidbit. In order for the school to receive a full day’s pay, a student needs to attend school until at least 12:30. Remember those half days where you had to re-arrange your schedule to pick up your kids? This could have been the schools way to get paid for your child, while doing what they wanted with the time left in the day (furthering teacher education). It may also have been a way to under educate the students. A one stone for two birds type situation.
Now, consider the day of the GUN INCIDENT at Fort Colville when the entire school district did not notify the parents until after 12:30. Were they waiting until they had been paid a full day for your children before they contacted you? Did they put our children’s safety first, or did they put their budget first? There’s no way to prove that was their intent, but is there a better explanation?
I have been working for years to uncover the information hidden behind the walls of this district and now I want to share it with the community in the hopes that it will help both parents and students. My goal is to help those people who are searching for help. Not everyone is able to spend years fighting the system, nor should they have to.
When it comes to our children, there should be no ambiguity, no misinterpretations and nothing hidden from us. These school officials hold our children’s lives and futures in their hands. But I don’t think it’s their job to dictate to our children or to us. I believe their job is to offer us options. To give us what we want for our children. We should be the ones to decide the best path for our children’s futures and thankfully the laws agree with this (see laws listed below).
I believe if we, the parents work together sharing information we will benefit the lives of our own children along with many others in this school district. Isn’t that the true purpose of a school in the first place?
It’s time to put parents back in the decision making process of our schools. The colvilleparents blog is the first step in that process. This is the place for parents to communicate with each other, to share stories, find answers and get things done. We can help each other get what we need, find the laws helpful to parents and students and uncover the truths behind the stories the school tells parents.
Some key things the school will tell you that have red flags attached are:
– “Our hands are tied because we have to follow the laws”. (Make them show you the specific law to make sure they aren’t just trying to scare you. We’ve caught them at this many times. There are often laws that take the parents side of the issue and I might be able to help you find them.)
– “We can’t do “that” because we don’t have the budget”. (So where are they actually spending their money? If not on the children, then where does it go?)
– “It’s the way we are trying to help your children to succeed”. (What’s the flip side – in what way do their actions benefit their budget?)
One example I can provide is that the Junior high provides a list of classes to parents and students so they can sign up for the next year. I never once saw advanced classes on that list, but they do have advanced classes that I discovered staff members children are automatically signed up for (I’m not even sure if they have to qualify). I was not even aware that these classes existed until my son told me he had friends in advanced classes. Are they intentionally hiding these classes? Why wouldn’t they put ALL classes available on the list of classes they hand out to the students and parents? We had a very long and intense fight with the school to get our son into a higher level class. I won’t even go into how difficult the “bully teacher” made it for him the rest of the year (a topic for another time). Does this sound like a system that is trying to help our children – or us?
Here’s another example: Our children were happily learning everything they could in Jr High until the school instituted an “improvement plan”. This plan involved cutting the time of every class by 5 minutes and installing a 30 minute “study time” at the end of the day. Well, that sounds great – but here’s the kicker.
Let’s look at the loss of education per class. A school year is 180 days long. 5 minutes x 180 days = 900 minutes / 60 minutes = 15 hours lost in each class. That’s 15 days worth of education lost in one class alone. Now multiply that by 6 periods worth of classes and you get 90 hours or 90 days worth of lost instruction every year. Did I mention that those 30 minutes are play time for any student who does not have to study? Is that what we pay our schools to do – babysit? Now do you still believe this was an improvement plan?
For those of you who think this is helping our children, take a look at the last 6 to 8 years of math scores at the Jr. High to find out the truth. See my post “Student Grades 1996 thru 2014” https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/student-grades-1996-thru-2014/ Or go to http://www.k12.wa.us/ click on Family Resources/School Report Card Then type in your school district and the year you want to review.
Now on top of that, they have also shaved 15 minutes from each day this year 2014/2015 by making the release time 2:45 instead of 3pm. 15 min x 180 days = 2700 minutes / 60 min = 45 hours / 6 periods for each day = 7.5 days of lost education for our kids.
And sadly I’m not done yet, the Colville High School has implemented an “Accelerated Friday” so that students who are behind in their studies can catch up. It shaves one hour from every Friday and shortens every class accordingly. During these days, they often schedule assemblies which take even more away from the kids education. It is often a complete loss of education for the full day because teachers can’t fit a full lesson plan into a shortened day. I think it’s safe to question these things. We need to find a way to measure if taking away educational time for students is helpful or not.
Over time, I will fill this blog with the information I have gathered though the years. I will provide information for parents who need help in as many areas as I can and I’m also hoping to gain information from you. For example, I no longer have young children so I am not familiar with the workings of all the schools, but if there are parents out there with concerns, I will be happy to listen to them and post them when I can. I will work to help you investigate the situation and find solutions. With knowledge we will all be empowered to help our children thrive in our schools.
Browse the information on this site, and if you don’t find what you need then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some helpful laws (accents are my own):
RCW 42.56.030 The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. This chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy and to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In the event of conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other act, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.
RCW 28A.200.130 states in part; “To facilitate access to information and materials on educational improvement and research, the superintendent of public instruction, … shall work in conjunction with parents, educational service districts, institutions of higher education, and education, parent, community, and business organizations.”
To find laws pertaining to a specific subject, see the “Helpful Links” page on the bar at the top of the page.