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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vitti's base betrayal of the First Coast High school community (rough draft)

It was really a pretty neat thing to see, an entire community coming together to demand changes to their neighborhood high school, First Coast high. Since Vitti placed principal Al Brennan there the community has been alarmed of the direction of the school as the grade has dropped, violence has spiked and staff have left in droves.      

Another complaint was about the boundaries. The parents complained that a significant amount of kids not from the ever expanding neighborhood were going there and that had led to many of the problems there and Vitti even promised to address it. Below is from a power point  that he presented to the First Coast community addressing their concerns.

Concern Over School Boundaries

    Superintendent will make recommendations to the School Board regarding a change for the Ribault and First Coast feeder patterns. Students currently in boundary would be grandfathered into current boundaries.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Actual maps will be reviewed by parents, teachers, students, and community members through the board policy, called the ACE Process
Great right? At least in this instance he listened and was prepared to do something, well not so fast as this is from the Times Union:  He proposed changing Highlands Middle on Tuesday into a digital media magnet school, moving its aviation program, and then broadening the boundaries for Oceanway Middle and for First Coast High, to accommodate more students after the changes, he said.

He led parents to believe he was going to tighten the boundaries and here he is saying his plan is to expand them and furthermore were these proposed changes reviewed by the people that he assured would be allowed to?

No and if he isn't going to do what he said he would here then why should the First Coast community believe he is going to follow through on anything he said he will? Why should anybody? Credibility is a tough thing to get back once it is gone and right now the superintendents is teetering on the brink.


  1. There are several issues with this whole thing.
    1. You are absolutely right - by laying out this plan he is totally sidestepping the parents at FCHS. He made commitments to them, and now he is pulling back on that. And that is WRONG. He wants community involvement, and in that case he got it, and now he is thumbing his nose at it.
    2. Creating another IB high school magnet? I can see the long term thinking on this, but I question the choice of school. Why Wolfson? There are currently three schools outside of Stanton and Paxon who offer IB, and from what I have heard, Wolfson's program is weak. Is there a smarter choice for a third magnet program? Shouldn't that be considered? Of the three, which one has the highest enrollment? The most success on exams? Shouldn't this information be considered? Is that information public record, and something we could be privy to?
    3. As both an employee of this district and a parent of children who are in our schools it is daunting and disheartening that our opinions and input matter so little. I feel like giving up. I work in public education, and even I would send my kids to private school if I could afford it. I don't feel like anyone downtown has my child's best interests in mind. And that's sad.

  2. It's going to be another interesting year at First Coast, watching the same old stuff while all the time the district and administration try to spin and polish up the mess.