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High school district board to continue discussion of superintendent's evaluation Tuesday

Sequoia teachers union has called for removal of Superintendent Mary Streshly

The Sequoia Union High School District board will continue discussing an evaluation of Superintendent Mary Streshly at a special meeting Aug. 11. Photo by Ana Sofia Amieva-Wang.

The Sequoia Union High School District board will continue a discussion of Superintendent Mary Streshly's performance at a special meeting Tuesday after the teachers union called for her removal on Aug. 3 with a no-confidence vote.

The board discussed an evaluation of Streshly at its regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 5, during closed session. No action was reported out of closed session.

Now, the board’s discussion of Streshly will continue in a special closed session meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, according to the Sequoia Union High School District board meeting agenda. As of Friday evening, the only item listed for consideration was “Superintendent’s Evaluation.”

In its Aug. 3 statement, the SDTA cited what it saw as Streshly’s “lack of experience, poor communication, and absence of clear vision which have led to confusion and sown division throughout the district,” as leading to a vote of no confidence from the union. After passing a resolution at the SDTA’s Representative Council, the group said, the resolution received 200 signatures in under 24 hours. The final number of signatures was 300, representing roughly 60% of the active membership of the union, the group said.

“It has become clear that the board made a mistake in hiring someone with no prior experience managing a large and diverse school district like Sequoia Union,” said SDTA president Edith Salvatore.

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The union’s resolution detailed 19 grievances against Streshly, including accusations that she has “consistently turned a blind eye to the issues of racial tensions” in the district, and that she “mishandled the opening and development of the TIDE alternative school,” referring to complaints made about TIDE Academy in April.

The SDTA specifically cited concerns over the district's recent seesaw decisions over whether to reopen schools in the fall — first, to open schools in a hybrid model (part online, part in-person), then later to start the fall semester with classes fully online in a decision announced July 21.

The union said that Streshly "did not prioritize student or staff safety” when making those decisions.

In a letter, Streshly addressed the union's charge that she hadn't prioritized staff and student safety in the decision about fall school reopenings, saying that as a former teacher, "I would never do anything that would put our students, teachers, and staff at risk ... The fundamental truth is that the entire world is concerned about the current crisis. However, as concerned as we may be, that concern does not mean that we completely shut down and not provide our parents and students with critical support by all means we have at hand."

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High school district board to continue discussion of superintendent's evaluation Tuesday

Sequoia teachers union has called for removal of Superintendent Mary Streshly

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 5:45 pm
Updated: Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 11:46 am

The Sequoia Union High School District board will continue a discussion of Superintendent Mary Streshly's performance at a special meeting Tuesday after the teachers union called for her removal on Aug. 3 with a no-confidence vote.

The board discussed an evaluation of Streshly at its regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 5, during closed session. No action was reported out of closed session.

Now, the board’s discussion of Streshly will continue in a special closed session meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11, according to the Sequoia Union High School District board meeting agenda. As of Friday evening, the only item listed for consideration was “Superintendent’s Evaluation.”

In its Aug. 3 statement, the SDTA cited what it saw as Streshly’s “lack of experience, poor communication, and absence of clear vision which have led to confusion and sown division throughout the district,” as leading to a vote of no confidence from the union. After passing a resolution at the SDTA’s Representative Council, the group said, the resolution received 200 signatures in under 24 hours. The final number of signatures was 300, representing roughly 60% of the active membership of the union, the group said.

“It has become clear that the board made a mistake in hiring someone with no prior experience managing a large and diverse school district like Sequoia Union,” said SDTA president Edith Salvatore.

The union’s resolution detailed 19 grievances against Streshly, including accusations that she has “consistently turned a blind eye to the issues of racial tensions” in the district, and that she “mishandled the opening and development of the TIDE alternative school,” referring to complaints made about TIDE Academy in April.

The SDTA specifically cited concerns over the district's recent seesaw decisions over whether to reopen schools in the fall — first, to open schools in a hybrid model (part online, part in-person), then later to start the fall semester with classes fully online in a decision announced July 21.

The union said that Streshly "did not prioritize student or staff safety” when making those decisions.

In a letter, Streshly addressed the union's charge that she hadn't prioritized staff and student safety in the decision about fall school reopenings, saying that as a former teacher, "I would never do anything that would put our students, teachers, and staff at risk ... The fundamental truth is that the entire world is concerned about the current crisis. However, as concerned as we may be, that concern does not mean that we completely shut down and not provide our parents and students with critical support by all means we have at hand."

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