This topic contains 7 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Lionel Messi 1 year, 2 months ago.

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    Rumor has it that Andy has placed a sizable portion of the teachers on “probation” for various perceived slights. Does anyone know if there is a formal, documented HR policy defining what this means, how long it lasts, and how to get off “probation”?

    I’m suspecting it’s just a method he has personally selected to instill intimidation and fear on his personal whim, and there is no underlying actual status from an HR perspective. But that’s just a guess – Anyone know for sure?


    Concerned Alum

    Whoa. I know it’s just a rumor, so I don’t want to get too stirred up before any confirmation. But this would be big.


    Step up folks

    SDHeights is on the right track. At this time, 5 fulltime faculty are on probabtion. This is abnormal.
    One faculty member has been fired (asked to resign or told their contract will not be renewed) for bogus charges. When administration views thoughtful, concerned, ask-the-tough-questions faculty as threats to their lack of ability to lead, those faculty are targeted.
    I still believe in this school and the mission. I find it more difficult to continue to witness the demise of a fine institution due to leaders who refuse to take responsibilty and bring down honest, solid teachers.



    My information has well over 20 teachers on Probation for minor infractions, but that’s just a rumor. Mr. Watson a bully?



    The faculty member that has not been offered a contract for next year is, by my estimation, one of the school’s finest teachers. My child had him for two years and had a huge impact on her education. I have personally been in his classroom (something not many of our administrators take the time to do), and without any reservation, consider him a star educator. I am outraged that the administration has chosen to scape goat him. He has always been an outspoken critic of the financial situation and caused considerable discomfort for Andy. Although, I do not have both sides of the story, I am highly suspicious that his contract non-renewal is a consequence of the faculty member’s outspoken criticism. This will send a chill throughout our community, squelching dissent and further eroding trust and morale.



    What happens when a given manager unilaterally decides to make up their own HR policy and establishes a non-sanctioned “hit list” for the subordinates he does not like or agree with?

    What happens when being placed on this “hit list” is formally and permanently recorded on the employee’s record, and utilized for making employment and compensation decisions going forward?

    What happens when there are no formal criteria for getting on the “hit list”, no performance improvement processes when on the “hit list”, and no formal criteria for getting off the “hit list” – it’s completely and utterly up to the whim of this single manager to decide who is on and who is off the list and any given moment.

    What happens when hundreds of employees, over the years, have had wages withheld for simply being on the “hit list”?

    What happens when teachers are demoted, or ultimately terminated, where the sole basis for these actions are simply being on the “hit list”?

    What happens when it becomes obvious that this “hit list” is simply a personal vendetta mechanism, operating completely outside of sanctioned HR policy, policy handbooks, and any employee contract?

      What should happen is all employees ever placed on this managers personal “hit list” are immediately contacted by HR, and an apology letter is immediately sent to each and every one of them, indicating that the actions of this manager were well outside of any sanctioned HR policy, and such actions will never again occur. Additionally, all inappropriately withheld wages and or bonus’s that were withheld over the years based solely on being on the “hit list” are being immediately reimbursed. And finally, the manager in question is being immediately terminated.


    For Oldfac and SDHeights:
    You are on target. I know of one instance a few years back when another outstanding faculty member was targeted and placed on, “Indefinite probation” without due process and, worse, the term Watson threw at this teacher was not in the handbook. The term “Indefinite probation” was included in the next version of the handbook. It does not exist at this point in the current handbook.

    In all schools and businesses where I have worked, the handbook was law. Not so at AA. It is intentionally vague and serves the school, not the employees. Often, things are dine that are not civered in the handbook. Rules are created to suit Watson and his henchpeople.

    The faculty member referenced by SDHeights was told by Watson, essentially: Your chair and division head recommend non-renewal. What can I do, I’m only head of school, I can’t intervene.

    Now, it comes to pass that the same division head who apparently targeted said teacher for firing actually visited this teacher’s class recently (after the non-renewal meeting), wrote the teacher a note saying what an amazing teacher he is and how valuable his contributions are to the school and students.

    I see your heads doing the same flip-shake mine did when someone relayed the above to me. I’m still just mystefied by tge behavior and lack of respect and transparency.

    I am so sad for the friends I have who work there. It is a dangerous and toxic environment and will not change as long as administrators like Watson, Lipkowitz, Lokke, Lenhart, and Barrie continue to be allowed the drenching rain (not a typo) of terror descending on quality faculty.

    How can this be allowed? Answer: The Board is not willing to do their job. Spin doctors, smoke screens are key to their survival. Watson answers to them; AA answers to NAIS and ISAS, which is due for an evaluation visit next year, I believe. Could be some interesting things will come out then and a cleanup where it is needed can happen.

    Friends who work there are truly afraid for their jobs. And, still no contracts. No trust of upper administration. No leadership owning the mess they have created.


    Lionel Messi


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