Calling for the Resignation of East Wake Academy Charter School Leadership

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Calling for resignation of East Wake Academy charter school leadership.

 Our community as a whole has lost faith and trust in the administration of East Wake Academy (Mr. Stephen Gay – Superintendant, and Virginia Jacobs – K-8 Principal).  
Parents of EWA students and local community members are outraged at the changes recently made at East Wake Academy and are calling for the resignation of theseadministrators.

• On the last day of school (6/7/18), 8 teachers were told their contracts were not being renewed.  In addition, 5 teachers resigned due to emotional distress they were under as a result of the current work environment of EWA.  All Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers were lost.  Since that day, we have lost 6 more teachers and we fear we will lose many more K-8th grade teachers.  

• All teachers report they had few (if any) performance evaluations for years.  None had corrective action plans nor were they told of any deficiencies.  EWA policy requires a minimum of one evaluation per year.  

• All teachers who did not have their contracts renewed were not given a reason for the decision and when asked, were refused answers.

• Administration asked staff in March to inform the school if a teacher planned to leave so that EWA can fill those positions.  Concerned parents located a May 7th presentation to DPI in which EWA administration can be heard discussing interviewing new staff in order to fix their “human capital” problem.  School job fairs happen in early April.  By the time our teachers were released, most positions were filled and job fairs over.  We feel this is an unethical practice.

• Former staff members report EWA is a tense, emotionally distressful and hostile workplace.  Current staff reports the same and fears becoming targets if they file complaints.

• At the previous charter school led by Mr. Gay, a committee of concerned parents filed an official grievance against him due to the decline in morale and culture of their school under his leadership, showing a clear pattern of failed leadership.  

• Former principals who have worked under Mr. Gay are on record stating he uses intimidation tactics.

• Multiple teachers report verbal abuse, intimidation and bullying from Virginia Jacobs.  

• EWA teachers completed a survey this school year through DPI.  Here are a few of the results we find distressing: 

There is an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect: 43% Disagree or Strongly Disagree.

Teachers feel comfortable raising concerns and issues: 43% Disagree or Strongly Disagree.

School leadership makes sustained efforts to address teacher concerns about leadership issues: 41% Disagree or Strongly Disagree.

Professional development is evaluated and results communicated to teachers: 63% Disagree or Strongly Disagree.

Over 200 parents have expressed outrage over the treatment of our teachers and have been told to “trust the process”.  Parents find this unacceptable and are asking for your help.  Please sign this petition and let the EWA Board of Directors, Stephen Gay and Virginia Jacobs know that our community deserves better and that you join our call for the resignations of Mr. Gay and Mrs. Jacobs.  

**Links to the NCDPI survey, presentation and other information are available on our Facebook page, Concerned Parents of East Wake Academy.