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I-Prep principal is doing good job

In response to the Dec. 13 News article concerning the School Board’s decision to transfer principals from low-performing schools, many on the faculty of International Prep support our principal, and question the value of his transfer. Our school data appears incomplete at best. International Prep has had the label of “Good Standing” as per the district’s New York State report card, until the school year 2011-12 and, in fact, has shown improvement.

According to district data, our middle school has been improving steadily since 2010. Seventh-grade math scores increased 6 percent for meeting or exceeding state standards and eighth-grade math scores showed a 24 percent increase. Seventh-grade ELA scores showed a 7 percent increase for students who meet state standards, while eighth-grade ELA scores showed a 33 percent increase.

The Distinguished Educator’s report stated that building principals lacked control of placement of students and input regarding staff needs. I-Prep’s overall data includes stats from transfer students possessing little or no credits when they arrive, as well as 150-plus English language learners and growing, speaking more than 28 languages, yet only three staff members able to translate three languages. Many of these students are required to take the same state assessments without the tools needed for success.

Our principal has worked hard to create a climate where teachers, staff, students and community work together and feel safe in the pursuit of academic success. Is there room for improvement? Yes, all great things continually evolve and I-Prep has shown progress. Relocating principals or teachers is not the answer. They are but two pieces of the solution, which should also include students, parents and district supports individualized to each school.

Mary Phillips

Buffalo