Thursday update: The location of the meeting has been changed to the Montera cafeteria.
The longtime principals of Joaquin Miller Elementary School and its next-door neighbor, Montera Middle School, retired this month — much to the surprise of some parents.
Some learned about the departures of Linda Lu and Cheryl Rodby through letters mailed home. Others, such as Maria Ku, found out through a Yahoo! group for Montera families. (What would parents do without their online networks?)
Before new leaders are chosen, district staff say, they want to gather input from families. A meeting for parents at both schools is scheduled at 7 p.m. July 23 in the Montera cafeteria.
Eric Nelson, a central office administrator who oversees Joaquin Miller, says people will split into small groups, according to school, and discuss “the skills and characteristics they’re hoping to see in their principal.”
District staff will meet with teachers earlier in the day to ask the same questions.
Ku notes a potential problem with the setup: Many families, she says, have kids at both schools. Are they expected to choose one child over the other?
Nelson says it will be easy for people to float from one side of the room to the other, but Ku isn’t convinced that will work. “How can a meaningful discussion happen with people running back and forth?” Ku asked.
I attended a PTA meeting just last month at Montera. One of the topics of discussion was campus discipline and an upcoming consultant’s report on ways to reduce racial disparities in suspensions and referrals. There was no mention of a leadership change.