Interview with Ronald Shimer

Feb. 4, 1994

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Q: Ron I want to thank you very much for agreeing to sit down with me today, I'm looking forward to our chat here.

A: It's good to talk to you again, Jim.

Q: Thank you, it's been awhile.

A: Longer than you thought.

Q: Yes, that's right longer than I thought. I'am interested today in just kind of picking your brain, and you've had some time to go back over your career as a assistant principal and a principal junior high, senior high, and even though I am still buried in the mess, and sometimes you get so close you can't see the forest for the trees. You've had a chance to see the trees, and so before we get down to the real nitty gritty. How about just kind of giving us a little personal background.

shimmer audio (Streamed audio file of interview for this question using RealPlayer)

A: Alright, I was born and raised in West Virginia and I went to high school there. I was one of six children. My father was a country merchant, but he did much, much, more than that. He made money other ways, and during the depression you had to work very hard to make money, and that's when I came up and the whole family. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Like I said my father had a country store, but he also dabbled with timber, particularly at that time there was a lot of timber needed in the building of ships in World War II, so he bought and sold a lot of that. He also did some drilling, not he, himself, but a company that he and his father owned, they did some oil and gas drilling. My brothers and I drove truck for the well drilling as well as the lumber selling. So we were very busy, in addition to that, we also did a lot of work at the store particularly in the delivery business. My father told me at one time when he was 16 years old, he taught school. He was 16 some of the students were older than he was, and he had been to what they called a normal school at that time. You know we don't have those any more. He taught one year, and I think one year was enough for him. Through my high school years, both my brothers and I played a lot of football. We played several years of football and be played pretty well for the small school that we attended, and we had a very good record every year, and I guess that's what probably decided me to go to school. I was working at the store after I graduated, and a guy stopped by to see me, he had seen my coach, and he stopped to ask me. He was Johnny Brickles by the way, who also was the talent scout for the Cleveland Browns, but he asked me if I would like to go to West Virginia University on a football scholarship. I said fine, I would like to, I don't know why, this was late in the year. I don't know why I hadn't even thought about going to school but, playing football was the thing that decided me. So I went to Morgantown and there were lots of other guys there, a lot of them better than I. So I had to leave because I couldn't really earn a scholarship. They contacted another school, and told them a little bit about me. I went down and played there, and later I transferred to Marrietta and continued playing there as well. I finally got my AB degree from Marrietta College and my Masters Degree from West Virginia University. As far as entering education, I think the main thing that propelled me, was my interest in athletics and the possibility of coaching. I was really interested in that, working with kids in that sort of a situation. I majored in english, played football, studied a little bit about the game and my first teaching job also involved an assistant coaches job.

Q: Where was that at?

A: Southern West Virginia.

Q: Is that right? Were you ever coaching at Warren?

A: Yes, junior high only.

Q: Is that right?

A: I moved to another school later in the Parkersburg area and was Head Football Coach. I was there for 3 years, then I came to North Bloomfield, I was Basketball Coach there for a couple of years. Then moved into the city of Warren, and worked in the junior high program, but I also did a lot of work with the senior high program, scouting and that kind of thing. They gave us a lot of work like that, and it was interesting to me because we were playing teams like Massillon and Canton every year. Watching good football was really a reward for me, I didn't expect to be paid for something like that. I was teaching english in East Junior and coaching. Junior high schools at that time were building up very large. They were adding like 40 or 50 students per year to each one. Finally it got to the point that the thought they were going to have to have an assistant principal at each one. Well East had 900 students and Turner had maybe 825 and West Junior must have had close to a 1000.

Q: Wow

A: We put them everywhere. Stuffed them in cupboards.

Q: That was about the time we were 16,000 total probably?

A: Yes a principal really didn't have time to work with teachers he really didn't even have time to discipline the kids and, discipline at that time wasn't a real big problem but, it did become a few years later. So the junior highs were becoming very crowded and the Superintendent wanted to put 3 assistant principals in there. So, my principal at East Jr. called me in and told me that I ought to apply for an assistant principal job. He had worked with me at that time for two years and he must have thought I had some of the qualities that he would like to see in an school administrator. So I applied and I was selected along with 2 other fellows, that were slightly older than me who had taught in the city for quite some time. Then that led to a cadet principals job the following year. Now, the cadet principals job, as it was set up then was really, I thought a great program.

Q: It was the kind of program where you were taught to be or had a chance to learn?

A: Yes, that's right we were paid as if we had been a teacher, but there was three of us selected. They were going to put three people in the junior high schools, but they didn't put, one of us here, and one of us here, and one of us there and say stay there. What they did was rotate us through three junior high schools, three months at each one, and that is why I thought it was such a tremendous learning situation.

Q: You were under more than one ?

A: Three different principals, we worked with three different principals, for three months each, and three different student bodies, and those student bodies at that time were very different. East Junior had middle class and above middle class. While Turner had mostly middle class, and West Junior at that time had mostly below middle class. West Junior had more black enrollment. East Junior had very little black enrollment, and Turner had some, but not a great deal. So, we moved through three different principals and each one of them was considerably different they worked well together. One of them, I thought was best at organizing, schedule wise, that kind of thing. He was really good and seeing that his kids got under the teachers that he wanted them to be with.

Q: He thought about it at that level, that this child should be with this teacher?

A: Yes

Q: How many students?

A: 900, we were ability grouped at that time. That lessened the problems. He worked really hard on that. One of the others I felt was very good in public relations, and the other I thought was very good in handling his staff. Each one of these fellows had weak points too, and you could pick that up because you were moving from one school to the other school. You could find it, maybe he's not weak, but he's not as strong here as that other guy was. I thought if you went through that program, and really worked the program you couldn't, well you couldn't fail. That was my thinking. Each one of these was very good at their jobs, and some of it rubs off on you. We did everything that they did with the exception of evaluating teachers. We did not at that time evaluate teachers, but everything else I think that they did we did, and it was an excellent experience. If you went through that successfully, I think you were well on your way to being a successful administrator.

Q: Was that the time that Dick Boyd was around?

A: Dick came in around that time, but he was still coaching basketball.

Q: That wasn't the influence then.

A: No he was not, we were back in the early 60's. I can't remember when Dick came in, but he probably came in about 61 or 62. He taught and coached basketball fourteen years, before he got involved in administration. I did mention that my principal encouraged me to get into the program and we not only went through the program, but then we submitted weekly papers indicating what we had done, and what our problems were, and so forth. Those were read by the 2 Assistant Superintendents, and a Superintendent at that time. So they were read by those folks, and probably also by the Director of Personnel. Before we were finally selected, we also had to undergo an oral examination by 6 or 8 administrators.

Q: After the 3 months? After the 9 months?

A: Yes, We had a evaluation. I can remember one question that I was asked, one of assistant superintendents asked me what do you do with a teacher that's late everyday? Well I'm very naive. Well I called him in and talked with in, but if that doesn't work, well then I call him in again, and I use a little more positive about it, and he says what if that doesn't work. What he was trying to get was to tell me that we try everything that we know to try then we fire him. That's where I went about the third or fourth time he asked me, then what. I think that's something that you really don't think of much when you're a teacher, but eventually sometimes teachers don't work out and you have to dismiss them.

Q: In this day and age its harder and harder, the changes, the difference, the tone in your voice, the tone of the whole thing is so much more professional than what we did today. It appears, would you say that?

A: I don't know.

Q: Even in your own history, would you become less professional as time went on?

A: I don't know, I did call the Superintendent one morning and told him that I had a teacher who according to a girl & another student, a boy, that another girl too. That he had been involved in sexual practices with these two girls. I called the Superintendent, and told him that. He said if its true. Call him in and tell him he's through. Well, I said, it's true, so I called him in and told him that he was fired. I don't think you could do that now.

Q: It's very difficult.

A: I just read of a situation at Madison Township, where it must have been somewhat the same thing, and finally the teacher left, he resigned, he wasn't fired but, anyway that's a situation.

Q: You had a higher enrollment, you had almost higher load, obviously higher load. We have 7200 students now in the very same district, and the way that we put people into jobs today is to go through the interview process, and tomorrow they start.

A: Yes

Q: You guys were writing papers, having them reviewed and then going through an oral interview, wow!

A: I thought that training process was the best thing that I had ever dealt with, still I see nothing. I known we've had some more training programs since I became a principal and since I retired. We've had several training program, but nothing like that. I really felt that deserved an A+. I don't really know what my management style is, I really don't know, but I think some of it simply came from my experience as a teacher, and that's why I would recommend that principals have some sort of a background in teaching. I taught for 10 years and became a principal I think my 11th year and, I was still learning things in my 10th year that I felt would help me as a principal later. That I think would be a fairly good amount of time to spend. If you really decide that you want to become a principal then part of that is simply part of the development of a principal. So I would think that 10 years of experience teaching. You are also dealing with several principals, and I can recall from my beginning I never had problems with principals, but I can remember one who was very, very poor. I guess he was being fired, so he, this was my first year at that school so I didn't know what kind of a background he had. He had been there several years, but he rarely would come to work, and from that moment on he wouldn't spend anytime with the kids, or with the teachers or with the parents. So where he went, I don't know.

Q: In the Janitor's room?

A: Probably, I have worked with some principals who were very good in discipline, some who were very poor in discipline. I mentioned earlier that some were good in staff relations and some were very good in public relations, and some not good in either. Now as far as creating a climate for learning. I felt that I did a better job with that at Turner Junior High School, than I did at Harding. It may have been the differences in the ages of the kids, but at Turner, they were going through a lot of things in the 60's and 70's.

Q: I think we need to make sure that's clear? What it was like when you were at Turner, then what it was like when you were at Harding. That was a whole different aspect.

A: Yes, but at Turner I think we established, and I say we, because John Peckyno was my assistant principal at that time, and I felt that John Peckyno was a well, if I were asked to evaluate my assistant principals. I think I would put John at the top. John had some problems, but our chemistry I think, worked well together and, so I would put him, I think right at the top. Now Jim Smith is very good at Harding, in his job there, which was in Curriculum. John had a broader job than Jim and I thought he did a great job.

Q: Does it mean that they were together, right? The three of you?

A: No

Q: Not at the same time?

A: No, I worked with Jim at Harding and John at Turner, but some things we did to create a proper climate at Turner, we dealt, we worked primarily with the kids. We did things like, we would check the attendance each grade period, and if people had not missed a day of school we would call those people out one of their classes in the morning we chose some movie, reward them with some movie that they would enjoy and, they really responded to that I don't know whether you remember that or not but our attendance was always in the high 90's.

Q: 91, 92, 93?

A: Even more than that, it must have been 98 sometimes.

Q: Yes, that's high.

A: Another thing, and this was John's idea, was make some cards, and we put a smiling face on those cards and every time that we found somebody in school who had done something good. It could be grade wise, or it could be anything, something good. We would call the kid in congratulate him, then send the card home to their parents. The parents really enjoyed that, well I can recall my experiences as a parent. I really enjoyed something like that coming from the teacher. At the end of the year we gave scholarship pins. When we would hold an assembly, in fact in got to a point where we were using all three junior high schools at the same time. We called all the parents in and we would have a real big turnout for that from the parents. They enjoyed that, the kids enjoyed it and so did the parents. I began back in 1968, I believe it was, I was sending a newsletter home from Turner every grade period also, and in that we picked things that the kids did that were really good or things that the teachers did. We would accent those things in the newsletter. We would send that home four times per year. Later, I think the Central Office started doing this, didn't they. Combined reports from the junior highs.

Q: Yes, you are right it did.

A: Well, I had done it several years before they had done it.

Q: You probably started it?

A: I wouldn't doubt it, I think I was the first.

Q: Yeah, you probably started it.

A: I think I was. Staff meetings, we would try at staff meetings both John and I to point out some good things that the staff had done at one time or another. We would also leave notes in their mailboxes, if we couldn't see them. We also had some student teachers and parent get-togethers, like basketball games. We did that some of the teachers took the kids camping. Some of the boys camping, and fishing, things of that sort, and the teachers enjoyed that and the kids, really. Had a good time.

Q: Let's go back. You had parents/teacher parties at basketball games?

A: No, we had basketball games. Parents and teachers played

Q: Oh, both of them, that had to be hilarious?

A: Yes, the teachers had some pretty good players. Also, we would have the staff and student games too. That was always close, but usually the staff won.

Q: Usually?

A: We had Big Brother/Big Sister Program there also. That tended to get the teachers much closer to the staff. We would have assemblies and give out special awards, and we would also have music assemblies for our musical groups or bands and our coral groups. These were also for the parents, and they were always very well attended. I think that as far as the principal is concerned. That the principal could do a better job if he had more authority to do the better job. I think that we were well on our way to doing that in our Shared Management Philosophy which I was instrumental starting it, but I can't remember exactly when that was, Probably in the 70's, 71 or 72.

Q: Way back

A: Yes

Q: We had learned of it, but it had not.

A: No, it was very effective under Dr. Moberly, very effective under Dick Boyd, but then it became ineffective because it was completely forgotten about. Not by the administrators, but by the Central Office and the Board. I think at that time and since, some of the Board Members became elected on their own agendas and maybe they were to interested in doing that to see what really was happening in the classroom. The principals under the Shared Management Philosophy had the authority to do, in their own school, what they wanted to do, if they thought it was going to increase the possibilities, of increased the development and better education for the kids. We did lots of things, particularly in the junior high. I don't know what the high schools were doing. The Language Arts Program in each of the junior high schools was entirely different each junior high school was entirely different. We worked a thing Turner with small groups and we did a much better job in the teaching of reading, I felt. Because we had the freedom to do that. Eventually we had a superintendent who said he understood what Shared Management was but, it never really worked through him and continue to develop some of the things that we wanted to do. I think it was a shame, well I just think we would be a lot better. We had potential of going far beyond where we were in Math and Reading. That's where we would have been the next year. We would have developed some things that had to do with it.

Q: Under the Shared Management concept the principal, who had a little more flexibility and freedom to design his building and the climate and the learning style. Does that translate into more freedom for the teacher?

A: I think it does.

Q: So you become more of a team approach, what can we do, everybody's strength is inhaled, utilized, allowed to exist, allowed to be more creative?

A: Yes, and I'll show you an example of the Shared Management Philosophy. Hiring teachers -- The principal hired the teacher. Now the prospects were provided to the principal, and interviewed by the principal and then the principal called the Personnel Office and said this is who I want. That didn't always happen, the other way around didn't always happen, although I think as far as I'm concerned I never got somebody that I hadn't approved, but I know some principals did.

Q: I know that I've been put in that box.

A: Yeah, so I think you ought to fire that principal and have a little more control.

Q: Yeah

A: I don;'t know some of the Board Members may not have felt the principal should have been making those decisions, but anyway Shared Management doesn't exist now.

Q: We know that for sure.

A: Yeah. I don't think it will ever come to the year round school, because we probably could have done that, but I think really if we would get to the year round school I think we would have a much better situation, and I don't mean by that necessarily the kids have to go year round. They could if they wanted, but they wouldn't have to, but the teachers could teach if they wanted to, but they wouldn't have to. I think there are ways to develop that year round school philosophy so that in the long run I think teachers would be paid well, students would learn well, and we would get much better use out of the buildings than we do now. Not much more expense really, I think maybe we would have to have air conditioning, but how much does air conditioning cost? Not a great deal in relation to

Q: class size, number of teachers necessary, vacation schedule for parents Are these the kinds of things you are thinking about? Talk to me some more about that.

A: Yeah.

Q: I like that idea.

A: I think if were to inaugurate a year round school. It would be in four quarters, and in the fall. Of course you would have to have all your football players in there. I think you could work around that as well as the band. I just think that you could develop four quarters of education, four quarters of english that you had to have, take 3 out of the 4 quarters, and if you wanted to go. Some people would I think the situation should be set up so that if you would want to go year round so you would get out a little earlier, and into college a little earlier, but it could be done, and has been done in nice school systems. I think that it saves, not right now, but it could save your buildings in the long run. I don't think it would help Warren much in that respect I know, because they have some buildings that aren't being used, but it could in the long run save you money. Because you can get more kids into one building that way.

Q: It would lower class size?

A: It would do that, it would do that

Q: I think that's Warren's big think that its staff complains about the most. When you've got 25 in you classroom, and you cannot teach that many kids, especially quote on quote today's children, and the administration says that we can't afford anymore. You know were 5 million dollars in debt. This could be maybe one way to maybe lower the class size.

A: Yeah, it could do that.

Q: Staff would teach 3 or 4 quarters, kids would go at least 3 or 4 quarters or more. The staff could teach more, if they volunteered.

A: Yeah, right.

Q: I like that.

A: I think that if I had the authority to make changes in education. I think that's one of the things that I would do. I would have a longer school year, have a more flexible schedule for teachers, and hopefully I would have a smaller class load. Fewer classes for some teachers, particularly in Language Arts teachers. I think that when you get into grading papers and some of the work that they have to do in Language Arts. I feel that they should have fewer classes, maybe 1/3 classes.

Q: You mentioned a while ago that change and discipline. It seemed like you were at the point that you could remember when you had 900 kids in a junior high building and when we had 500 kids in the same junior high building. I think if I caught you right, discipline was not as much of a problem early on as it was later on. Can you talk about that a little bit?

A: Well, Jim I've always been in a situation where I worked with discipline even when I was principle at Harding. I was involved in it as much as I could be involved in it, and at the junior high. Starting in 60, I think around 60, the whole idea of school discipline starting changing radically for the worst. It continued into the 60's, the Vietnam situation and maybe it rubbed off on the kids, I'm not really sure and it continued into the 70's and I think that probably you would know more about that than I really haven't been around schools that much in the last dozen years. I think it has.

Q: It definitely has, yeah definitely. We've got a lot more dysfunctional families. 59% of our children live in single parent homes. That doesn't even account for the abandoned family. If the child is living with a divorce and remarried situation that's not even included. Now what percentage of our children are living with the original two parent family, we don't even know. A: Now, the background of your students has changed tremendously in the last 20 years that has it great effect on this. You mentioned the single parent family, I guess part of the reason for that is, I'am not sure but I think part of the reason for that is it would be a little cheaper to live in the city than in the suburbs. I think it might be, then you've got people who are a single parent family. Their not making as much money as being on welfare, and it would be easier for them. Transportation wise and what jobs are available, they are closer to you?

A: Yes

Q: That kind of thing. Rent is more available, and projects, of course.

A: Yes, That I think results in your having kids from a poor economic background. Many of those are living with just one parent, a great number you mentioned 59%, that tremendous. That has its effect on what the kid does in school, and how he perceives school, and a million other reasons too. I am sure that in the nice suburban schools, all white all upper class. They still have their problems.

Q: Yeah, they still throw gum, and in high school they still bring guns. There is a difference, there is. You talked a little bit about teachers and the ability or lack of ability to either cry in the room or whatever. Can you talk a little bit more to us about what these same teachers expect out of Principals?

A: Everything. Principals are suppose to be all things to all people, but I think what the teachers want. I think they want would want their principal to be friendly, to occasionally talk to them, not necessarily either about school, but about anything. They want support in discipline, and if they don't have good discipline in the classroom they eventually end up bringing them to the principal. I think a great number of them do. I think that should be one of the principals roles to. For every teacher to handle discipline. That's because you can't teach without the discipline, you have to have order in the class. We should let the teachers know that's what to expect, and in return give them what they expect. They are compatible, I mean teachers want to be respected for who they are, for what they do. You should deal fairly with your teachers, and pay attention and deal fairly with the kids. That doesn't mean that you let them do what they want to do, because they don't respect teachers themselves if the teacher does not have control and the teacher do it through the learning process. I don't know I think I worked 22 years as a principal and I really don't know, I probably had a pattern about youths that I developed as far as my dealings with teacher was concerned but what I think is I was friendly with the teachers, I spoke with the teacher at every opportunity I had. I didn't chew them out in public. Sometimes I did chew them out, but I never did it when anybody else was around. I praised them when they did something right, when they are doing something right every day really. So you work at your job, they know you expect them to work at their job and pretty soon it works out alright. I didn't miss school. I was always on the job, I can't remember how many days of sick leave I had when I retired, but I had oodles of it. That's a good example for the teachers, always on the job, and don't let things interfere with the job. I really did not get heavily involved in community activities unless they concerned the school. I enjoyed joining the Kiwanis Club, but I think after I joined I only went to two meetings, that's all. I would rather spend my time at school. I belonged to a church, and I attended regularly and held offices in the church, but really as far as civic organizations I was not heavily involved. I don't like, well I'm not going to criticize the people who are but I know that I did not want to get that heavily involved because I didn't feel I could leave my job.

Q: While were talking about community, we need to remember and actually record the fact that you were a Board Member also.

A: Yes

Q: After you were retired. Why don't we talk about that a little bit? Give me your logic, your reasoning, and how you felt about it from that side?

A: I felt somewhat helpless

Q: In the power seat but helpless?

A: Yes, I didn't really feel that I was affecting education at all.

Q: No kidding?

A: No, I could have observed power struggle from the Board, but as far as me being an effective Board Member, I guess I wasn't I really didn't think I was. There was some things I wanted done that I could never have gotten done either because the Superintendent opposed it or the majority of the board oposed it. Those things didn't come up often in public discussion because we had enough digression on the Board, and there wasn't any need of creaating any more.

Q: Having been a teacher, a coach, a principal and then Board Member.

A: I run the gamont.

Q: Wow. You've been on both sides of the fence on all sides of the fence, but as a Board Member you didn't feel that you able to do anything?

A: No, that's where you should be able to, but really I can't really remember now that there was anything that I did that initiated or organized. Really, I mean, but there is probably something.

Q: I'm sure there was. I was around when you were a Board Member, and I think from outside looking at the Board what we really wanted to see was not so much direction but, it was stability. One of the other reasons I think that you were elected was because you were known in the community and you were consistent and followed a straight line. At the time that you were on the Board, if I can remember right that was something that we needed. Maybe you're right maybe it's not a situation about you being able to effect change, but perhaps to bring stability.

A: That perhaps would have been the only thing or perhaps the most important thing that I did do.

Q: Yes, I would say so. Because nobody could snow you. I mean you knew it from the inside out and consequently I was always comfortable with the fact that you were there.

A: Yeah, you're probably accurate on that. I thought often about the comprehensive school that we used to have at Harding High School, and the fact that we left junked our Vocational Program in order to save some money. I don't really know how much it saved. But I think a million dollars or so.

Q: Not really, what was saved was the political end of it from the state level and we recouped 5 million from them for surrendering our Vocational Program.

A: I thought that we surrendered a great deal when we let our Vocational Program go, and were no longer a comprehensive high school. We don't belong, our kids are not going to attend the county vocational school to the extent that they should attend it.

Q: But they qualify for it.

A: They wouldn't be interested in developing those skills. I don't think they will do that, I think they will stay at Harding High School and be in the general program. They won't get much out of it, they won't have the interest in it that they would have had it if they were also in the Vocational Program. I really think that it was a bad deal when we jetisoned up the Vocational Program in order to save the kind of little money. I think that overall we've had kids going in and out of the Vocational Program, not a great number in any one year. But we had some decide they wanted to go in a lot later in the year or come out of it somewhat later in the year, and you generally were able to make those changes. It would be extremely difficult now, if you find a kid that's not in the Vocational Program and wants in it one minute then wants out. It makes it much more difficult. I think that a Comprehensive High School still has its place, and I know that, I really think that they ought to have a Comprehensive High School, and I think we ought to put some limits on the vocational aspect of it in order for us to draw our vocational students into an elective program into elective courses from time to time. I think that sometimes that we shirking the general education of the kid by keeping him to long in the Vocational Program. To long during the day, then they could benefit from more exposure to the electives. I think that vocational programs, at least the one we had at Harding had some of our best teachers in it. I really think that they did a good job almost to a person, but I guess it's a hands on thing.

Q: Yeah, it's both heart and hand, mind and heart a combination for balance. We talked a lot about that the balance between the academic mind and the real feel for the child. When a teacher can do that I think education is improved.

A: I think also I would agree that we should probably have more credits required for graduation. I know we upped them when I was at Harding, and we did it mostly because I was pushing for it. But I think we could give even more electives in the elective side and four English credit. I really think that should be required at every fine school. I think there are things that we could do in Curriculum to improve the education. Perhaps one thing would be monitoring the test results more than we do. I really think that the test results are important. Important enough so that we should be doing a little more with scheduling with our students in mind.

Q: And our teachers should be more aware of it?

A: Yes

Q: By student we do a lot of testing. We have a lot of information on a child, but what do we do with it. Unless you're going into Special Education Nobody seems to have the extra time or the vent to take a good look and a apply the information. Under a Shared Management concept, under a concept where Superintendent backs away, and the principal begins to take over, and then the principal backs away then allows the teacher to take over and reconstruct the actual, the actual structure of the building itself allowing teachers to do things they need to do might help some of that?

A: Yes, it could, it could certainly change things.

Q: I think we have an opportunity to do some of that stuff. I think we need to take time, our kids need help. We have all the information in the world. We just don't use it.

A: We just don't use it all.

Q: You had talked about talking to parents, sending home cards, backed against today with 59% of our children are in single parent families and and we need to talk a little bit about how you involve parents?, Besides sending cards to them.

A: It's really difficult in particularly with the single parents.

Q: Yeah.

A: Because they work.

Q: The work schedule is a problem?

A: Yeah, It's very difficult. I think at Turner, I think when I was at Turner we sometimes went to the home. In fact, I know I have been to many homes at Turner and West.

Q: Half the city, right?

A: Yes, I think the Counselor, Herm Jackson did some of that to, and I think that's probably where they are, if you want to talk with them, but I find you don't know how realistic that concept is.

Q: Time wise it's difficult. Why do you think they don't come?

A: I suspect they don't feel they can make a difference and maybe some of them feel their kids are in good hands.

Q: Thank you very much, for 6 hour they are your's you got their not mine, I don't want to know?

A: I don't have any magic answers, it's something that should be done. It's extremely difficult to say just come in here I want to see you. We do that to a certain extent with suspended or expelled kids. You know.

Q: You require it? Then they come in often?

A: Yes

Q: Now we have another issue here. In the hostile parent which goes to the levy, I suppose, but how do we make parents feel welcome? Make the comfortable and the teachers feel comfortable when they do come. All that's in there.

A: Well, I think that's why the teachers are concerned. I think that would be worked out just by repeating, and repeating, whatever you do to get them in there. I think teachers eventually would accept that. I use to in my newsletter home, at least once a year invite the grandparents in. I don't think we ever got very many, but we would usually get a few. I know as a grandparent I'm very interested in what goes on in the kids school. I visited my grandchildrens schools more than once.

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