Noyes Elementary School ‘Moving On’ From Donahue Controversy
Noyes Principal Annette Doyle tells the Sudbury Public Schools Committee that the school is still thriving and doing well, following a period of controversy earlier this year.
Noyes Elementary School enjoys a school culture of warmth, according to school officials and Parent-Teacher Organization members who presented the Sudbury Public Schools Committee with a “State Of The School” address at its Wednesday night meeting, which was held at Noyes.
“I would argue that Noyes in one of the most warm and welcoming places. You always get a smile, even if the person doesn’t know you. To us, that is really special,” said Lisa Valensi, co-chair of the Noyes PTO.
While not mentioning the subject directly, Noyes Principal Annette Doyle made subtle references to a controversy that erupted at the school this spring, when longtime first-grade teacher Janice Donahue was dismissed. The abrupt dismissal of the well-known teacher prompted an outcry from parents who said that it was unjustified, that it put the town at risk for an expensive lawsuit and that school officials did not communicate with them properly about the situation.
“Clearly, Noyes has been rocked over the last several months. It has been hard, there is no question about it. But we are moving on,” Doyle said.
She said Noyes remains a positive place to work and pointed to a survey taken among Noyes staff in October 2012 that showed that just two percent disagreed with the statement “Noyes is a positive place to work.”
“Of course, we can improve. Just like every other school on the planet,” Doyle said, as she spoke about recent improvements in the culture of warmth and growth.
Assistant Principal Kristin Moffat said as part of the culture of warmth, Noyes students recently sent cards of support to students who attend a school that was damaged by superstorm Sandy in late October.
Leaders with the Parent-Teacher Organization said they have been successful with assisting the school with educational enrichment and occasional technology supplements, such a new laptop cart for a third grade class, and an active board for a second grade class. They also launched a popular directory that can be accessed on smartphones, and increased their offerings of Noyes-themed clothing.
“I am impressed by the spirit that is evident in all the different stakeholders,” School Committee member Bob Armour said about Noyes administrators, teachers, parents and students.