Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Extended Leave (Open letter to J. Donald)

I'd like to personally thank the Superintendent of Rockbridge County Public Schools for denying my wife's request for a third year of extended leave to be my primary care-giver.

I certainly understand that policy only allows for two years of extended leave, and that any deviation from the published policy would be catastrophic to the integrity of the entire school system. Your adherence to this policy in the strongest manner is to be lauded, in  light of what must be a constant stream of feeble excuses and pathetic tales of woe.

I would like to expand by adding that my wife has always thought of teaching as her dream job. Furthermore, she took great pride in doing her job to the best of her ability; she's her own worst critic. I've heard her lament, one more than one occasion, that she is struggling to get student X to perform in the classroom. She always makes it her responsibility when a student underperforms, regardless of the circumstances.

In short, she has always been a responsible, dedicated, and knowledgeable teacher. She has approached her role as a teacher with a tremendous amount of professionalism, compassion and passion...

...and you just basically told her to shove it.

It was nice to hear your assistant superintendent make assurances that my wife will be a priority to hire once I'm dead. However, I would hope you can understand why we would rather have the assurance of a third year of extended leave.

Putting my grievance aside, I can't imagine anyone would like to be forced in to asking for extended leave, let alone abuse the policy somehow.

Surely the school division can find a compassionate answer to enact as policy.

While they're at it, perhaps the school board could reconsider the policy on employees transferring their sick leave or personal days to another employee. Unsurprisingly, quite a few colleagues wanted to help my wife in this way while we were burning a trail between here and Johns Hopkins...I'll let people reading this guess what the policy is in regard to that.


  1. This is very Sad... I can't understand why the Superintendent is so ridged on this issue.
    I can't understand why the Board won't allow Transfer of leave time for compassionate Reason. "Course, I couldn't understand why they wouldn't allow Toys For Tots Toy request to be distributed out of School offices this year either. I'm afraid in their Strident efforts not to show any form of Favoritism towards any one air any special interest group, they have adopted a different public person - HEARTLESS BASTARDS!

  2. I do believe the amount of sick leave donated by your wife's colleagues would have covered an entire year of pay. All were willing to donated but were told that... "it was not [ours] to donate."

  3. This is a sad situation. I am sorry for your troubles and for the way Rockbridge County is treating your family. My prayers are with you. Unfortunately, not only does Rockbridge County School system fail on this matter, but in regards to the way all teachers are treatedd is absolutely pitiful. I understand your comments about how your wife thought teaching was her dream job, and yet she is treated this way. My daughter had always, and I mean always since age 5 wanted to be a teacher. She exceled in school, finishing college, and obtaining a masters. She is a smart, dedicated, concerned teacher as she can be to students who spit, cuss, and disrespect her on a weekly basis to NO help from upper adminisitration. It's all about the graduation rates.. getting the kids through the system, not what they learn.. Not if they can read, or write, form complete sentences, add, subtract, know their history, government. Students are getting passed that have NO business being passed. But by Gosh, let's get them graduated.. the #'s need to look good!!! It's supposed to be about the kids education. Not about the schools score, or the federal and state funding. HOw can these teachers teach to students who can throw their cell phones across the room and curse a teacher and then are only given a day of silent lunch? REALLY!?!?!? THeir is NO discipline in the ROckbridge County School System. My son goes to a differnt count school and believe me, these things are NOT happening in their county. Leadership comes from the TOP. Get with it Mr Superintendent. Do you really think that you can pay these teachers lower wages than most counties around, raise their insurance rates, have unruly classrooms and STILL expect them to stay in your county teaching? The problem is that you are RUINING teaching for alot of these individuals forever. YOu burn them out and dishearten them in the few years you have them and our kids are the ones who suffer because we are losing not only GOOD, but GREAT teachers. GET WITH THE PROGRAM Rockbridge. Take care of your teachers so they can take care of our KIDS!!!

  4. I am so sorry. I know that I, along with many others, would have been more than happy to donate days. Continuous prayers coming your way.

  5. Shame, shame, shame. They should think about if one of their loved ones was sick!!! They don't even have books for some of the classrooms. I've seen and heard about the disrespect the students have for their teachers and each other. And that Ms. Zit more is not the person to be the 1st person of contact in the office. No personality at all. Comes off as very rude.

    1. Have to disagree about Ms. Zitmore I'm afraid. A difficult job in a hectic environment...not sure I know anyone that could do it better. Plus she has always been very supportive of our family.

  6. Rules are rules,and are there for a reason.

    One of the first rules of management is the application of common sense. I doubt this has been applied here.

    Special dispensation is there as a discretion in circumstances outwith everyday occurrence-such as this.

    If he doesn't understand this,he has no place in management. Nor in any form of society,tbh.

    Don't let it get you down,Tony. You have all come through so much just to be where you are.