Although we have been encouraged to see the community support and media coverage of issues surrounding the building of the new Enota Multiple Intelligence Academy, we were highly concerned by comments made by Gainesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Wanda Creel in the article, “Enota brainstorming includes plan of construction delay for ideas to preserve garden,” published Sunday in The Times.
The article cited Creel as saying the construction project could be delayed, but conditions at the school are such that the students there do not have the same quality of instruction as at other city schools, and the Board of Education must balance support for the garden and its value with the need to provide Enota students the same kind of educational opportunity that other city students have.
Although, we would be remiss if we didn’t agree that the current Enota building has flaws, pointing to the “less than” educational opportunities and quality of instruction for the students at Enota is uninformed, insulting and misleading. Enota teachers are dedicated to ensuring the best possible educational experience for the children they lead each day.
This has never been more evident than in the results of the 2015 Milestone tests. In the first year of implementation of the new testing protocol, when parents around the state were warned of the possibility for declining test scores, Enota outperformed all reasonable expectations, as well as nearly every other school in the district in nearly all subjects. Enota students performed at passing levels in English/language arts, science, social studies and math, and received the highest scores in the district in English/language arts, science and social studies. Additionally, Enota students showed the highest growth in the district in social studies and science.
To imply our students are unable to learn or teachers are unable to instruct in the current environment is a careless misuse of words with devastating consequences. This statement demoralizes the selfless, tireless work of the faculty and staff at Enota.
We are proud of our school, our teachers and our children. We are saddened our school district would be led by someone who could show this level of disrespect to her own schools and employees and ignore the amazing accomplishments of her students.
Juli Clay, chair
Ginny Early, vice chair and chair-elect
Enota Governance Council, Gainesville