Friday, January 9, 2009

Three Myths About Taylor MS

Each year, a significant number of 5th graders from our feeder elementary schools opt to attend private schools or neighboring schools rather than attend Taylor MS. This bothers me. I firmly believe that the educational opportunities we offer at Taylor rival those of private schools and neighboring public schools. After visiting with parents and staff, I am aware that several myths persist about Taylor among certain segments of the community.

Myth 1: Taylor has rampant fighting and bullying:
I don’t know what happened in the past but I can tell you that fighting has been virtually eliminated this year. This has been accomplished by increasing staff supervision in the hallways, cafeteria, and playground. Consequences for fighting are severe and immediate. Incidents of bullying that are reported to the principals or SRO are promptly investigated and the offenders dealt with per the school discipline matrix.

Myth 2: Taylor is a gang-infested thug school:
The handful of students from gang backgrounds (fewer than five according to BCSO) are on a very short leash and are monitored very closely. The school dress code against sagging and gang symbols is strictly enforced. Closed circuit TV cameras are closely monitored by our full-time School Resource Officer Steve Aldredge. Gangs are not tolerated.

Myth 3: Parents are not welcome at Taylor:
I heard this from a parent who sent her children to Lincoln MS. She explained to me that when she visited Lincoln, they made her feel right at home. She said that when she visited Taylor, no one reached out to her or made her feel welcome. Again, I don’t know what happened in the past but I believe that if this mother visited Taylor today, she would find a warm, welcoming, and open school where parents feel like partners in their child’s education.

I believe in Taylor MS and I am committed to continuing to spread the truth about our school. Toward that end, I am going to Alameda, Los Ranchos, and Corrales ES in the next two weeks to visit all 5th grade classrooms to talk to our incoming class about Taylor. (The Sister School Program with James Monroe MS ends this year and we will no longer accept students from out of district except by transfer request). We are also having our 5th grade parent night on Tuesday, February 3 from 6 to 7:30 so all potential students can see the great opportunities that exist here. If you would like to help us host this parent night, please get in touch with your PTO officers or drop me an email. Together we can dispel the myths that hold families back from attending TMS.

No comments: