There is an old saying that is attributed to Plautus, a Roman playwright, “Patience is the best remedy  for every trouble.” Although Plautus lived in 200 BC, those words hold true today. West Burlington School District is a great school district, but we know we aren’t perfect. We have our shortcomings and we sometimes make mistakes. As your superintendent I want to resolve these concerns as quickly as possible. The school board asked me to review our complaint procedure to address concerns promptly and effectively. We respectfully ask you to use the following protocol:

If a concern arises, please speak directly with the person or the program leader that is directly involved in the concern. If there is a classroom concern, speak with the teacher. If an issue arises in an activity or sport in which your son or daughter is participating; please speak directly with the coach or sponsor. We believe respectful discussion can frequently get everyone on the same page and usually resolve the misunderstanding.

If after a discussion with the teacher, coach, or sponsor; the concern is not resolved, the next step is speaking with the staff member’s direct supervisor. If this is a concern involving athletics, address this with the athletic director. If the concern is with a teacher, then speak with the principal. Respectful discourse will help get to the root of the concern, and hopefully resolve the situation.

If the concern is not resolved with the principal, supervisor or AD, then it is appropriate to contact the superintendent. As your superintendent, I will listen to your concerns. I will sometimes ask you to have another respectful discussion with the teacher of coach. I will sometimes ask a principal to get further involved. My intention is to clarify the issue and attempt to reach a fair and equitable resolution. I will work hard with you to find a fair solution. If the concern is still not resolved, then I will ask you to place your concern in writing. I will take this concern to the board president to see if the board is going to get involved. Please remember the board cannot legally discuss an employee’s job performance in an open meeting.

If we all follow proper protocol/procedures and attempt to resolve issues with those
directly involved, I believe we will reach a solution that is best for the student(s). A teacher, sponsor, or coach cannot address a concern that he/she is not aware of. If you believe that a law has
been broken or a code of ethics compromised, then it is appropriate to address your concern immediately with a principal or superintendent. If you have questions about the proper channels of communication, please contact me at david.schmitt@wbschools.us or call (319) 752-8747, option #3.

The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) is gearing up to meet toward the end of October. If you would like to be an active member of this important committee, please contact my secretary, Shawna at shawna.brown@wbschools.us. The first meeting will include a review of our 2014-2105 goals, an examination of our 2015-2016 goals, and an in-depth look at our favorable student achievement scores. 

I invite you to attend the October 5th board of education work session. The topic for this meeting is a detailed examination of our 2014-2015 student achievement data. This is a good opportunity to see our results and be able to ask questions about what the data means as we move forward in the 2015-2016 school year. In the 2016-2107 school year, the State Board of Education will mandate the Smarter Balance Assessment be the state accountability assessment.

Thank you for your continued support. Parent/teacher conferences are coming up as well as mid-term. I am proud of our school, but strive to do better. Go Falcons! Kids First!