As a Hall-Dale parent, I support the statements of concern and frustration in the recent article “Hall-Dale’s Grading System Raises Questions.”

Despite the efforts of many, parents and students still are struggling to navigate Hall-Dale’s ever-changing grading system, curriculum and nomenclature.

The mantra of “change is difficult,” so frequently directed at parents, is difficult to swallow and, quite frankly, condescending. We are all seasoned players in the game of change — what parent isn’t? Daily life raising children exposes us to change and its challenges on every front.

As professionals in our own fields, we address change regularly. I would argue that because of our experiences, we know exactly what successful change requires and therefore have been advocating for critical transitional elements.

We are still waiting for a comprehensive strategic plan, an evaluation plan with anticipated outcomes and measures and a reliable communications system three years into this implementation. We have been asked to put our faith into one approach after another, with inconsistent reporting, changing board policies, revised philosophies, and shifting leadership — all without formally vetted guiding documents.

Successful change requires a strong foundation. It requires dedication and focus on the local education system and our students, not on the external state-level players and education professionals enthusiastic about the theory but unfamiliar with the intricacies and challenges of our implementation.

We are a supportive, intelligent, community of parents that hold the institution of education in high regard. We see there was a need for change (we can analyze the data). We understand the theory and the state and national movement toward reform. This is not a battle against standards-based education; it is a plea for a responsive administration and school board that value the legitimate experiences and perspectives of their parent community.

Pamela Bruno MacDonald


Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.