Dear Alexander Community,
Student safety and well-being are top priorities at the Alexander Central School District. Our work each day focuses on creating the conditions for students to thrive. We are committed to ensuring all of our students walk through their school days in a safe, structured, and caring environment as they strive to grow as confident, contributing learners. That commitment is our mission and drives our goals as a District.
Alexander is a wonderful community filled with caring families and remarkable children. The District provides outstanding opportunities in the classroom, in athletics, in the arts, and in clubs/organizations for all of our students. Our District is a great place for children to learn every day. Our community cares. Central to who we are as a community is our unwavering commitment to all of our students. As a District, we welcome feedback from students, parents, and community members on all matters relating to how we are meeting the needs of our students and how the District is functioning in alignment with our mission and our goals. When a student, parent, or community member reaches out to our teachers, administrators, and Board members, the concerns shared are taken seriously and acted upon as appropriate.
Recently, District administrators and our Board of Education have heard from parents regarding their concerns about the District’s commitment to student safety and well-being as well as how the District is applying the Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct provides a framework for our disciplinary processes when student conduct does not meet the expectations outlined in the Code. It is important to keep in mind that the details of any situation that may result in disciplinary consequences are complex, specific, and confidential. The District is not free to share the details related to specific student discipline or consequences - especially with parents and community members who are not the parent of the child involved. In fact, the District is legally bound to keep all of these matters confidential. We take that obligation seriously. Be assured, however, the fact that the District cannot provide the community with details relating to specific disciplinary consequences does not mean that the District is not taking action nor does it mean the District is not upholding the Code of Conduct. We work diligently to investigate all situations in which a student’s conduct is alleged to violate the Code and impose consequences consistent with our findings.
In responding to recent concerns expressed by parents and community members, the District’s unwavering commitment to confidentiality has put it at a bit of a disadvantage, particularly because others are not bound by the same legal requirements regarding confidentiality. In fact, some community members have questioned the District’s commitment to confidentiality and have even suggested the District was acting improperly by not sharing details of certain situations involving the District’s students. Our legal obligation and moral commitment to confidentiality should not be construed as the District being non-transparent or non-responsive. We are merely doing what we are legally and ethically obligated to do. While District administrators and our Board of Education are not at liberty to share the details of every situation that is brought to our attention, please know that does not mean that we are not committed to student safety and well-being. As a community, we must remember our commitment to each other and to our students, even when we disagree or question certain disciplinary consequences.
Our District administrators and our Board of Education have used the recent feedback from members of the community as an opportunity to reflect on our practices. In fact, conversations we started last spring with the Sheriff’s office regarding the possibility of adding a school resource officer (SRO) at Alexander CSD were reinforced by our current community conversation about student safety. The addition of an SRO is part of our 2018-19 budget proposal. We continue to welcome feedback. Through feedback, we continue to grow as a District.
As always, thank you for your support as we work to create the conditions for all students to thrive. Even when we disagree and even when all of the details of every situation cannot be shared, we always have our love for our District and our commitment to our students in common. Let's continue to work together to make sure our community remains strong and that we continue to move the work of our District forward.
Dr. Catherine Huber