Letter — Good effort at Bijou school
On Aug. 19, it was reported that Bijou fell short of federal proficiency levels on the STAR test. In reality, the actual results show a different story. And also, when reading between any numbers, we must realize the difference between children that attend Bijou and those who attend some of our other schools, where English learning begins much earlier.
I have worked at Bijou Elementary for 12 years and am a Meyers parent, and I vouch for the caliber of teachers at Bijou and would put them up next to any teacher in the entire district. Although it was stated by Russlynn Ali that the caliber of teachers at Bijou was poor, it must be remembered that the children that attend Bijou come from the lowest socioeconomic area in South Tahoe, including very limited educational backgrounds where their learning experiences are very low upon coming to school.
The staff at Bijou dedicates themselves to addressing these challenges. Four of seven teachers with national Board Certification in the district are at Bijou, as the district has appropriately placed them there to meet the high number of students with special educational needs. All Bijou staff continue to educate themselves to learn more about how to help these children and their families.
Being the director of a nonprofit that works with the low-income and Latino community in Tahoe I can say that on a daily basis, referrals are made by everyone from the principal to teacher’s aides at Bijou for services for students and their families. I feel that as a community, we need to look at more than standardized test results, and look at what Bijou has helped these students and families to achieve instead of simply using these test results as a guide. I understand that we all want the best for our families, but we cannot start targeting teachers at Bijou. I feel that instead of discouraging these teachers, we need to encourage them for their accomplishments and their hard work. Speaking for many of the parents of Bijou students, I thank the staff for all of their efforts.
South Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center