Today's staff meeting was painful. Let me share just one storyline with you, so you can get even the smallest idea of how painful it was.
Today we talked about student progress reports. Pretty innocuous stuff, right? Oh, don't be naive.
See, in the past, we filled out progress reports at 6 and 12 weeks into the semester. Some parents complained that they didn't get the progress reports until the 7th week (out of 18), by which time it was too late for them to motivate their kids to dig their way out of any hole in which their grades might inhabit. So we were directed to send out progress reports after 4-1/2 weeks.
The union and the district misunderstood each other. The district thought they negotiated to have progress reports every 4-1/2 weeks, whereas the union thought that the 6-week progress report has been moved forward 1-1/2 weeks but the 12-week progress report would stay where it was. The union's contention was that they didn't bargain for us to do an extra progress report each semester, which is what the district thought they had bargained.
Fair enough. But instead of resolving it, each school was seemingly given the option of choosing how it wanted to proceed.
So we spent the next 30 min or so arguing/discussing whether we should do progress reports at 9 and 13-1/2 weeks or just at 12 weeks. But wait, there's more. Due to athletic eligibility issues, our athletes/cheerleaders will need some kind of grade check at 9 weeks.
So now our choices are to do progress reports for just athletes/cheerleaders at 9 weeks and for everyone at 12 weeks, or to do progress reports for all students at both 9 weeks and 13-1/2 weeks.
Clearly this is a major issue.
We spent over a half an hour on this. Some wanted to know who mandated the 9 week report for athletes--is the union aware of this, was it negotiated? Others had other concerns.
Given the small difference between the two proposals to choose from, we spent more time discussing, arguing, and questioning, than it would take to fill out that "extra" grade report the district thought they negotiated in the first place.
That was just one topic addressed at the meeting today.