CORRECTION: See appended.
Darien parents of children with special needs who are interested in assisting with the search for an interim special education director are being asked to submit “pertinent information” to the Board of Education by Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Betsy Hagerty-Ross, Board of Ed chairman, announced this request at the board’s Tuesday meeting — just one week prior to the deadline for parents to request to be considered for the search and interview committee.
Members of the committee would include one parent from the “general special education” community, and one special ed parent from a parent representative group, such as the Council of Darien School Parents or the Special Education Advisory Committee.
However, Hagerty-Ross did not say how these parents would be chosen or who would determine which parents served on this committee. When asked after the meeting what this process would be like, Hagerty-Ross repeatedly said “no comment.”
She also said the names of the parents who would serve on the committee would remain confidential to protect their privacy, although some parents said they thought the board was making this decision to prevent full transparency on this process.
All members of the search and interview committee are also being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“We’ll hopefully have this complete by the end of September,” Hagerty-Ross told fellow board members.
The school board has had difficulty conveying its process clearly to the public, as evidenced in numerous public complaints aired by parents.
When asked why the Board of Ed took so long to announce how it would involve parents in the search committee — it’s been nearly a month since Hagerty-Ross announced that parents would be involved on July 30, yet the nature of their involvement has not been stated until recently — Hagerty-Ross again said, “no comment.”
She also said one week was “ample time” for parents to submit their interest in serving on the committee. When asked why she wouldn’t answer questions, she said, “I made a statement.”
“I’m not answering questions this evening,” she said. “I’m not in any mood to answer any questions.”
A reporter from The Darien News approached the school board chairman after Hagerty-Ross declined to answer questions from The Darien Times. The Darien News reporter’s questions appeared to have been answered by the school board chairman.
Parents of children with special needs who are interested in serving on the interim director search and interview committee should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org , and include information about the age of your child, grade, or if his he or she is outplaced, and any other information to show pertinent qualifications. Interested parents should apply no later than Tuesday, Sept. 3.
CORRECTION: The Darien News reporter informed The Times that Betsy Hagerty-Ross referred the reporter to Heather Shea, board of ed secretary, to answer her questions.