To the editor:
I have been reading about the desire to create a new position for a district ombudsman. I am unclear about the notion of paying someone (surely this would not be a volunteer position) to help parents solve problems relating to their schools. It seems to me that communication and problem-solving could not be much easier than right now within our district.
Since the appointment of Randy Weseman, at least, it has grown in leaps and bounds! By now, parents should be familiar with who they can work with at their school level to share ideas and solve problems. I have been part of a parent network which has worked hard at empowering parents to become involved.
However, should a parent not feel they are getting the help or results they would like, our administrators are very accessible. I have dealt with Julie Boyle (communications director) many times needing to be walked through the process of not only who to speak with, but how to locate them. Forums aimed specifically at parents have addressed issues such as teacher accountability, personnel evaluation, combination class challenges, etc.
I have witnessed Dr. Tom Christie offering his personal assistance in helping unhappy parents who were otherwise interrupting a planned meeting and I can attest to the responses Randy Weseman has provided whenever I have e-mailed him with concerns of my own. All in all, I would hate to see a layer created which would distract from the communication of parents directly with who they ultimately need to be working with.