As a parent of Wilder Elementary Students, I am saddened by the final decision by LWSD to not grant Mike McCoy an extended unpaid leave for him to tour with The Brothers Four.
As reported in the July 19th edition of the Redmond Reporter, McCoy stated “the district gave him the ‘go-ahead’ four years ago” to tour with his band.
Mike made a commitment to The Brothers Four then and is sticking by it now. It would have been considerate of the district to stick with their commitment as well. They should have given McCoy and all staff members an extended notice about their policy changes, especially if there has been a precedent set of allowing for the time off in past years.
I understand the need for the district to be fair and equitable in managing staff members’ new requests, but perhaps another way to manage the change would be to give a year’s grace period so staff can plan accordingly.
There are other teachers at Wilder who had requests denied as well and it was a surprise to them. I am sure this is happening across the entire district.
I encourage the LWSD to look at their policy and consider building in some sort of provision for tenured staff with strong performance. It is this type of a teacher who can be out of a classroom with minimal impact to the students. As a parent, if I had a choice of teachers for my first grade son, I would select Mike McCoy even though he would be out for three weeks.
I only hope that changes can be made at the district level so this issue does not impact another strong, dedicated, well deserving staff member.