A review of concerns voiced about Division Street Elementary School Principal Greer Miller isn’t expected to be completed until next month, said Saratoga Springs City School District Superintendent Michael Piccirillo.
Criticism of Miller peaked in June, when public outcry over allegedly hostile interactions with parents and accusations she caused 13 employees to leave prompted a review of the situation. An outside firm was hired to interview the departing employees, and Piccirillo said that has been completed.
Miller has been at the school for about a decade and cannot be summarily fired because she is a tenured employee. Her status with the district has been a topic of discussion at recent meetings of the district’s Board of Education.
When asked at the July 25 meeting when Miller’s status would be resolved, board President Ernie Gailor estimated about six weeks. That timetable matches Piccirillo’s expectation that the review of Miller could be completed in early September.
As a result of the 13 exit interviews, Piccirillo said the district has identified four general areas that could be improved: school culture as it relates to building management and staff, communications between the Division Street school community and district officials, training with the teacher evaluation system and an examination of consistency of procedures across the district.
He added that district administrators are planning to be more visible at Division Street school. Across the district, he said, officials will be present at more staff and PTA meetings and ordinary day-to-day events.
According to previous reports, two of the 13 departing staffers are retiring and the rest transferring to other schools. Piccirillo said all the vacated positions have been filled, with new employees having between one and seven years of experience.
A point of controversy between Miller and parents was her rules restricting parent visits during lunch. Prior to the past school year, parents weren’t allowed to eat lunch in the cafeteria with their children, and parents reported Miller was not receptive to such requests. Parents are now allowed two lunch visits per family per year, which is more restrictive than other area elementary schools.
Other parents have complained Miller has the right goals but the wrong leadership approach.
The next meeting of the school board is Aug. 29.