Dear Research Triangle Charter Academy,
When my oldest daughter started kindergarten in 2001, I felt like the luckiest mom in town. The atmosphere of the school was such that, her dad and I felt like we were receiving a private education experience at no charge. Now we feel like middle class parents who have our children enrolled in an inner city reform school. RTCA, as we still affectionately refer to you, you have changed DRAMATICALLY! While many times change is necessary, a lot of your changes have not been for the best.
Terri Gullick, the principal when we enrolled our oldest daughter, would always greet us with a smile. Even if she was rushing off to handle an important situation, she made parents feel as if she was genuinely glad their kids were enrolled there. A recent trip down memory lane reminded me of how personable she was. I remember my oldest daughter breaking her arm in P.E class. I remember Ms. Gullick assuring her dad and I that the school would cover the medical bills and even calling us that evening to check on Kaylah. Last week, my youngest daughter who is currently enrolled, was dropped in a cheer stunt and suffered a concussion. Even after sending the current principal an email, we have yet to hear anything from him or his superiors. I actually shouldn’t be surprised as most of the time, he doesn’t even say hello. He’s always well dressed in his Sunday go to meeting attire. However, his interpersonal skills aren’t as polished.
Gosh RTCA! In the early 2000’s you were the premiere school of the Research Triangle Park area. In fact, you’re about to celebrate your 15-year anniversary. I’m looking forward to the carnival you have planned to commemorate this achievement. Did you invite the former staff and students whose hard work placed you as one of the area’s top desired schools? Then again, they would probably be just as disappointed as many of us are that have been around for a while. Our hope in the glory days being restored continue to diminish as student behavior plummets and the quality of your staff continues to nosedive. I’ve stuck around as long as I have because I honestly had hope that you would make a comeback. Plus, it’s just not that easy to walk away from family and that’s how the RTCA community viewed itself.
Anna Tisdale was like a grandmother to my kids and I miss seeing Ms. Nealy assisting the students. Although both of these women were tossed aside like garbage, there was never a question that they wanted to see our children succeed. RTCA, just yesterday, one of your teachers found pleasure in videoing an argument between students. Instead of taking control of the situation, he chose to pull out his cell phone to record while it escalated into a fight. The disrespect that’s running rampant in the school was never an issue when Mr. Sharpe and Mr. Snellings regulated school behavior. The funny thing is… I never saw them scream in a child’s face or use a condescending approach to gain control as many of your staff does today.
The motto “challenging each child to achieve” is starting to be a joke. Achieve what? Achieve low self esteem? Achieve lack of trust in authority and adults who are supposed to care? RTCA, the teacher turnover you have is unbelievable! Seventh grade hasn’t had a consistent team all year. The one teacher that has remained seems to find more pleasure in food than teaching. It appears that National Heritage Academies uses you as a training ground. We haven’t had consistent leadership in five years. I guess you can tell I’m discouraged. My hope in you RTCA is fading. Those that really don’t give a damn will say “just leave” while they continue to watch the downward spiral until it’s too late. Perhaps I should do like others and jump ship before it completely sinks. As long as the leadership is more concerned with paychecks and positions, there won’t be a change. RTCA, I guess I’ll just wait and see what colors you add to the wall……at least until June 16th.
Disheartened and Concerned Parent,
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