I would like to make the community aware of a terrible situation at the high school. There is a lot of absenteeism among the teachers and not enough substitute teachers for whatever reason. They take a large number of classes and put them all simultaneously in the cafeteria with one substitute acting as a monitor. There is no teaching going on at all for this large group of students. Obviously this is happening period after period for the students who are in the missing teachers' classes. There are days where my daughter knows ahead of time she will be in the cafeteria for three class periods. Then the next day it is two. Then another teacher is absent. This is outrageous and unacceptable. The Melrose school system is basically warehousing our students every day. It is negligence and incompetence that should not happen anywhere. It is so demoralizing for the students.
This is a symptom of the dysfunction in the school system from top to bottom. I'm sure high absenteeism is a product of a bad environment to work in. These types of abuses happen when the system is worried more about itself than the people it is supposed to serve. The mayor, the school committee and the administration can babble on meeting after meeting about norms and communication initiatives that make them feel good about themselves. Yet right under our noses complete a disregard for the students of our community is happening day after day, month after month. We've realized that through the OCR results but this is an indication of systematic and widespread neglect. I don't blame the teachers. They have to deal with a terrible system themselves. I am so disgusted with everyone else involved. Luckily our family will soon be done with this whole mess. I feel for the families and students still moving through the system.
Absenteeism is not a problem in non-union charter schools.
Apples and oranges. Get rid of this gang of administrators and it wouldn't happen here, either.
This would be a great story for Aaron Leiborwitz of the Free Press to investigate. It's really two separate issues. The staff absenteeism rates at the high school are through the roof, many of the students come home and mention teachers absent constantly. At what point does this become abuse of sick leave? Is Melrose High School typical of high schools around the greater Boston area, or are we far outside the norm? Having children several years apart, I never saw this level of absenteeism at the high school when my older daughter was there seven years ago, it seems to have exploded.
The second issue is the problem of substitute pay.....I never heard a word about this during the override campaign, and it's been a problem for YEARS. Why hasn't our current principal advocated for increasing substitute pay? She has known about this problem, and watched it go from bad to worse for years.
The exploding teacher absenteeism rates at Melrose High should be investigated, it's no secret amongst parents and students.
Also, why wasn't this issue been addressed in the last teacher union contract? I can tell you why - because substitutes do not need to be certified - therefore, why should the teacher union be concerned about them?
At the elementary level paraprofessionals are always used for substitutes. Which in turn causes non compliance of students Ed Plans. The lack of subs is definitely due to the poor pay and also the fact that they get paid monthly.
If you are a high school parent, ask your student how many teachers showed up to work today. They had a two hour delay, made they kids go to school, only to sit and do nothing. Half my sons teachers didn't show up today.
The substitute situation in Melrose is a disaster and has been for a long time. The District pays 55 dollars a day and the rate has not changed in over twenty five years, this is minimum wage. Shouldn't we be paying our subs more than someone who works at a fast food restaurant, I value my child more than a hamburger. As a result of the low pay there are no subs, when teachers are out they warehouse all the kids in the cafeteria with one person babysitting them.
Shame on Melrose.
And yet no one does anything but complain on here.
And once again I say "Thanks, Melrose!", because the more the pool of good applicants shuns Melrose, my town has an increased chance of getting more and better candidates. Keep up the good work.
I do realize that at some point no candidates, not even the worst ones, will even apply to Melrose, so this superior pool will be diluted somewhat by the inclusion of those who once actually applied to Melrose. We'll have to be careful of that.
Actually, the reason the students go to the cafe instead of having a sub is to save money. It has nothing to do with not having enough subs. They have plenty of subs for the middle and elem schools. When it comes the HS they just let the kids use the time as a study block and have 2 permanent hired subs supervise all of them in the cafe.
Now, the real issue is teacher absence. This is a huge problem as the HS and needs to be addressed. But, as one person on this board said, really all we can do is complain here because the administration and the SC don't give a sh*t.
I know it is not the politically correct opinion to blame the teachers for this problem. However, I DO blame the teachers. In their contract they get 15 sick days. That is in addition to the holidays, vacations, and the summer. Out in the private sector one is only allowed 5 days sick time. I do not believe most of the teachers in Melrose care about their students as much as they care about themselves. Parents will not say that because they are afraid of what will happen to their students at the school. Guess what? I'm afraid too. I have little respect for the teachers here in Melrose.