Letter to the editor: Moencopi Day School Governing Board president responds to community concerns

To our school and community,

We understand, and appreciate, the concern in our community around our children’s education. We share this concern with you, and we respect all voices when it comes to what our community needs to do to improve for our children. These thoughts never escape us, and we appreciate all of you taking time out of your busy schedules to join the conversation and share your throughts. Put simply, thank you for working alongside us.

In full transparency, we wish to openly share our actions regarding the investigation of concerns expressed by the community. Moencopi Day School (MDS) retained an experienced, independent investigator to conduct an unbiased investigation. Based on the investigative report, which was thorough, complete, fair and informative, the School Board has made personnel changes and will require training regarding school policies, conduct and discipline, communications and reporting of misconduct.

It should be noted that relative to allegations concerning non-renewals, the investigator found that:

‘It is ultimately up to the Board to decide whether or not to renew an employee’s contract; the Board may agree or disagree with the CSA’s recommendations. The Board has wide discretion in making non-renewal decisions and may make the decision based on a number of reasons, including but not necessarily limited to, the employees’s performance evaluations, as long as those reasons are not illegal.’

‘I was presented with no evidence to indicate that the Board acted improperly or non-renewed any employees’ contracts for an illegal or improper reason. Reasonable people may disagree as to whether _ and ’s contracts should have been non-renewed. However, the Board acted within its discretion and exercised reasonable judgment in deciding to non-renew their contracts.’

‘For the foregoing reasons, I find and conclude that neither the CSA nor the Board acted improperly or illegally in non-renewing the employment contracts of _ and _.’

‘I was not presented with any evidence to indicate the Board errored in judgment in eliminating _ or _’s positions.’

‘For the foregoing reasons, I find and conclude the Board did not act improperly or illegally by eliminating _ and __’s positions.

Our children’s future is directly linked to our community’s future, and we want to be the best possible examples to our children. The Board appreciates the continued support of the community and looks forward to the continued honor of educating our precious children.

Norma Sakiestewa, School Board President for Moencopi Day School Governing Board

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