It is an amazing thing for a teacher when something happens to engage student interest and starts them on a path of discovery that, of course, leads to learning. Such an event occurred around some front page coverage of Rim Country Middle School.
Several of your readers know that student information is highly confidential and discussing specifics is not allowed. When I spoke with your journalist, I shared general information about state programs and requirements.
The students under discussion saw the story differently. They were both hurt and angered by the suggestion that they were somehow “bad.” Below is a letter composed by the group.
This letter is responding to the article that was written on Aug. 17, “Troubled students challenge teachers.” We are writing as a group from the Payson Alternative Resource Center (PARC) program which is located at the middle school but is a separate part of the school.
We admit that we have had some challenges which have placed us at this school. We want to know why it is that just because one student was in crisis and acted out, that it is assumed that we are all the same.
Things happen in our personal lives that make some students upset, and when they come to school, something at school might make them more upset, which makes the student want to leave or act up.
What was not mentioned in the article is the good things that happen here. We get help being able to go back to the regular school where we belong. We are trying to get better every day we come to this school. We are good kids, but we have some problems that the teacher, aide and counselor are helping us with.
We know we’ve made mistakes, please know we are trying to improve our behaviors and social skills and the PARC program is helping us achieve those goals.
All students are supportive of other students.
I am proud to share their insight. I hope your readers will suspend judgment and instead find positive things to say about students and teachers in all of our schools. Regardless of statistically contrived letter grades.
Payson schools effectively educate and impact young lives daily.
Dr. Barbara Fitzgerald,
Director of Special Services,
Payson Unified School District No. 10