Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Parents Air Complaints; Better Communication Urged

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Parents Air Complaints; Better Communication Urged

Article excerpt

Two parents told the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School Board Thursday night that their children had lost interest in attending high school because of problems at the school.

The parents told board members that their children's attitudes had changed to the point that they did not respect authority at Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School and didn't want to go to school.

The parents say the problems began when Carol McCormack was fired as principal in October. They lay much of the blame on a lack of communication between school officials and parents.

"The district needs to work on parent communication, parent-teacher communication and parent-principal communication," said Leigh Presti, who suggested a telephone number for parents to call when they have questions about school issues.

The School Board heard complaints from four parents for more than an hour in a public forum. The group left shortly after the business meeting began.

Superintendent Jerry Elliott Jr. says he wished that the group had stayed because "we discussed a lot of things about the district and the schools after they left. I feel one can learn if we are all part of a total meeting."

Presti said later that she would normally have stayed for the whole meeting, but because of a hectic pace during the holidays, she decided to go home to her children.

Concerning parental involvement, Elliott said, "Efforts have been put forth. We try to have meetings at the schools for families to attend. We want parents aware of what is happening, and we want to get them to come out."

"People are so overcommitted," said Pat Hackmeyer, a parent. "There is so much going on - that unless it's specifically targeted at them, it's difficult. There needs to be a more personal, concentrated effort to address shortcomings."

The parents particularly complained about a lack of structure and communication about the Not-Quality-Yet program at A. …

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