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Amy Rex responds to rumors about Harwood Union

In light of recent discussion and comments about staffing and programming, Harwood Union co-principal Amy Rex wants to set the record straight about what is going on at the school.

"It is important that everyone has accurate information. To that end, the statements below are in direct response to incorrect information that has been shared within the Harwood Union learning organization and extended community," Rex said.

The first point she addressed is the idea that Harwood Union is staffing six administrators.

"Currently there are three administrators at Harwood: two co-principals and one director of student services. Our model reflects a four-person administrative team; one position is presently unfilled but is posted for the 2014-15 school year. While there are other Harwood staff members that are a part of the leadership team or attend administration meetings, they are not administrators and are not compensated on an administrator's salary," Rex explained.

The next point she clarified is the suggestion that Harwood administrators have been out of the building for professional development or for other reasons for 51 days or more.

"As administrators, we do have responsibilities that take us away from the office for a number of different reasons. These include monthly Washington West Supervisory Union administrative council meetings, regional and/or state meetings related to policy, law or federal and state mandates like the Common Core or Special Education requirements. All administrative absences – whether it is personal or sick leave or professional development opportunities – is approved by the superintendent. However, there has been no administrator that has been out of the building, for any reason, 51 days or more," Rex said adding that "every effort is made to ensure that one administrator is in the building at all times."

In response to the notion that there are leaks in the roof and mold in the ceilings, Rex said: "Periodically there is a section of the building that leaks. It is caused by a buildup of ice on the roof. When this occurs we remedy it to the best of our ability. There is no knowledge of mold in the ceilings or elsewhere in the building. If, at any time, there are concerns regarding the facilities, it should be brought to the attention of the administration and the facilities director."

She went on to address the contention that there is a 1.0 full-time reduction in the tech ed department (industrial arts): that is eliminating woods and metals courses and plans are being made to dismantle the shop facilities.

"Presently, there are two full-time teachers in this department. With the retirement of one teacher, there will be a reduction of a half-time position. Next year the department will be staffed by 1.5 full-time employees. Recently, the tech ed courses have been under enrolled. In an effort to increase enrollment, the current courses have been redesigned to extend the learning experience by integrating business and engineering with the traditional industrial arts curriculum. Woodworking and welding/metals skills will continue to be offered along with the additional learning strands in these courses. There are no plans to remove the equipment or dismantle the shop space. This space is necessary for course offerings in tech ed as well as supporting the needs of the facilities department," Rex explained.

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