Sudden administrative changes in the Barnstable School District has parents wondering if the district is in a leadership crisis.
Around noon today, parents of children at Barnstable United Elementary School received the following mass-email:
A message from BARNSTABLE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
This is Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown with important back-to-school information for families with children who attend Barnstable United Elementary School. Currently, Principal Mary Sullivan is on leave from the district, and as a result Principal Jim Anderson will assume the duties of principal at BUE. Many of our families and students know Mr. Anderson as the principal of Barnstable Intermediate School. While Mr. Anderson assumes the duties of principal at BUE, Ms. Beth Deneen, the current assistant principal at BIS, will become the interim principal at BIS.
Mr. Anderson will be in attendance at tonight’s ice cream social and looks forward to greeting BUE families and students. We look forward to welcoming all of our BUE students back to school tomorrow.
Some recipients found it alarming that the district would make administrative changes literally on the eve of the first day of school. No information was given as to why the apparently former principal of BUE, Mary C. Sullivan, is "on leave from the district."
The new principal of BUE is James Anderson, principal of Barnstable Intermediate School. Mr. Anderson is well-respected in the district. With his assistant principal at BIS becoming interim principal, the district is relying on known administrators to fill in during this apparent crisis.
Barnstable United Elementary's demographics make it a challenge for any principal. 48% of students are classified by the Commonwealth as "high needs". 20.4% are "First Language Not English" and 32.3% are classified Economically Disadvantaged by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown did not reply to an email from Cape Cape Cod Today sent this afternoon.
Parents we spoke with report that Mayo-Brown does not hold the confidence of parents that former Superintendent Dr. Mary Czajkowski enjoyed. One observer expressed concern that Mayo-Brown was "flailing about at the last minute" and is generally not as transparent with parents as was "Dr. Mary".