If you've been following my previous posts, you know that my district, in an administrative snafu, confiscated most of my school site's chemicals, severely impacting our ability to deliver college-prep laboratory experience. As you might imagine, we're unhappy. Here's the latest:

My colleague Mr. Fischer and several other teachers from other FUSD school sites met with district officials on Monday the 14th, 18 days ago. At that time, some of the brains behind the fiasco acknowledged 'mistakes had been made' and pledged that they would use their budget (not ours) to restore chemicals that shouldn't have been taken and which were needed for the curriculum as planned.

They asked all the schools to submit their list of what they needed, indicating they would not order until this was done so that they could bulk-order the lot and thus (presumably) save some money. Our school site already had its list in hand, with stock numbers and dollars ready to go, but those that weren't prepared were given until the end of that week to submit their list. Since it was a three-day weekend, the expectation is that said chemicals would be ordered on the following Tuesday (the 22nd).

Except that didn't happen. On the 22nd, my colleague Mr. Fischer contacted the district official responsible (let's call him JV), and was informed that no, the order hadn't been sent yet, probably not until (get this) NEXT Tuesday (the 28th). There is, as of now, still nothing to report and we took it upon ourselves to spend our own money to buy a few things, seeing as how it is now February and we're about to enter the fourth week of instruction sans chemicals.

Just how much more of this should any of us accept? Anyone who is a teacher will appreciate how this has completely hamstrung our instruction. It would be like an English teacher who returns to work finding that virtually all of their plays, poems, short stories and novels have been removed from the site. I suppose they could ask students to bring in newspapers and diagram sentences.


Speaking with two of my colleagues in Chemistry after school, I learned that in fact most of the chemicals have still not been ordered, and that the individual known as JV has been actively attempting to promote the use of another vendor for the high school people, over the objections of those who attended the Jan. 14th meeting. This raises the possibility that there is more afoot in this mess than an administrative misstep.


Thordr said...

So, what did they do with the items they took? I'm sure a lot of them are things you can not just dump in the trash without the EPA having a coniption.

Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

The response when this question was asked was something out of Kakfa: they couldn't tell us what they did with them, only that they didn't have them anymore.

There's a good possibility that the ocmpany that was engaged to actually collect the chemicals for the district intends to sell them, since many are either brand-new or still sealed.

We are also concerned that the individual noted in the post as JV immediately attempted to foist another vendor on all of us. I could say more, but I probably would need to consult with an attorney before I do. Let's just say that we're concerned.