Youngstown school employees want order
By Amanda Tonoli
Teachers wanted their concerns to be heard at the Thursday afternoon academic distress commission meeting.
About 20 Youngstown City School employees attended the meeting, voicing continual problems they are having with discipline, proper student and teacher representation, safety and overall respect in the schools.
“We really need to get the discipline in order – it’s a safety issue,” said Larry Ellis, Youngstown Education Association president. “Another thing is getting families and the surrounding communities engaged in what we are doing.”
Wendy Mirkin, a social-studies teacher at Volney school, said she wants the commission to understand teachers are having difficulties.
“We are struggling with behaviors, we are struggling with staffing, and we are struggling with resources,” she said.
Ellis added that although the Teachers Advisory Group, a panel developed to give teachers a voice by opening lines of communication between them and CEO Krish Mohip, is an avenue of communication, he feels it might not be a good representative kind of communication teachers are looking for.
“For the Teachers Advisory Group, principals just picked their favorite teachers,” he said. “These issues drive to the light that we do need collaboration and constant communication.”
The Youngstown City School District 2016-2019 Strategic Plan and commission members discussion of it addressed some concerns, suggesting good performance initiatives for teachers, work toward racial equity in the schools, conduct between students with other students and students with teachers, student leadership programs and a feedback avenue to continually improve in many areas both discussed and not discussed at the meeting.
Because of the feedback at the meeting regarding the second revision of the plan, commission members decided to require Mohip to take their recommendations and public comments into consideration and submit a third revised strategic plan in 15 days.
“It is obvious there are positive changes being made that reflect the hard work and thought that is going into this plan,” said Brian Benyo, commission chairman.