Parent Update #13
2 December 2020
Dear parents and caregivers,
Our last update (Parent Update #12) set out six items we wished the School Advisory Committee to address (Constitution, Timing, Retention of Mrs. Alexander, Transition for Head of School, Regulatory and Staff Morale). We have shared with you below the information we received on these points.
1). Constitution: This is with the Archdiocese of Detroit for review before the Parish Pastoral Council considers. No information was given as to who specifically is reviewing it or when they plan to revert.
2). Timing of meetings: There will be no change to frequency of monthly meetings
3). Retention of Mrs. Alexander: Not discussed
4). Transition for Head of School: The senior leadership team will cover Mrs. Alexander’s tasks until a Principal is recruited. Indicated recruitment was underway but at the time of the meeting, no advertisements for the position had been posted (it has now been advertised) nor had any meetings occurred with the senior leadership teams on the transition.
5). Regulatory: Nothing to report
6). Staff morale: Anonymous staff survey being considered to collect data
The responses to our questions highlighted that the current method of communicating is not allowing for any meaningful interactions. We had follow-on questions to all responses but there is no avenue for us to ask them until next month when we are permitted to send in another list of questions. We are working diligently to open a more productive communication line. It has been 10 weeks since we as a parent group met, collectively expressed our concerns and created this sub committee but yet there has been no real dialogue which we feel is not acceptable. We appreciate your support as we navigate these communication issues.
We recently met with the school Senior Leadership Team who are tasked with handling the transition: James Hickey, Susan Horrocks, Peter Embleton and Bernadette Devlin. We provided them with a copy of the petition and reiterated that the subcommittee was focused on solutions and that there was no validity to any claims made that we were against any one individual, the school or the church. We reiterated that we remained focused on governance, transparency, the well-being of the students and the teachers (especially given the current staff shortages). We expressed our concerns about staff morale, among other issues, and had a productive dialogue with them. We feel confident that they are aligned with us in having the best interests of the students and the teachers in mind but currently they have limited, if any, ability to enact changes without Father Naveen’s consent. We will continue to work to support the school in resolving these current issues.
We also are committed to finding a way to have a meaningful dialogue with the School Advisory Committee. We invited them to our meeting as we wanted to explain that we were on the same side as we try to assist the teachers and the school move forward. A number of the committee members had conflicts and were not able to attend, others simply did not attend. Father Naveen had other commitments. We thank both Gordon Rajamohan and Martin Cooke for attending and engaging in meaningful dialogue with us. We have asked them to allocate a short time at their next meeting for us to meet with them. We have not yet received a reply.
We will continue to push for transparency, information and dialogue. We remain committed to effecting change to improve the governance structure and working conditions at St. Ignatius School.
Yours in faith,
Parents’ Governance and Transparency Sub-Committee
St. Ignatius Catholic School
Parents@StIgnatiusparents.org – All sub – committee members have access to the email