Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DCF Exonerates Former Principal Patricia Girard of Abuse Allegations

BOE Chairman Dr. Gene Nocera has released the DCF report clearing former Farm Hill Principal Patricia Girard of abuse or neglect of a child (or children) in connection with the "Scream Room" allegations of January 25, 2012.

According to a State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families Report dated 3/30/2012, an investigation found no substantiation of abuse.

Girard left her position as Principal on January 30th, and Interim Principal Mark Proffitt stepped in until a new principal can be hired. That search is underway, but complicated by the subsequent departure of Superintendent Michael Frechette and Assistant Superintendent Barbara Senges last month. At this evening's Board of Education meeting, Interim Superintendent Dr. David Larson specifically mentioned the importance of finding a new Superintendent before vacancies at the building level are fulfilled so that the new head administrator has input on two new Elementary principals (Farm Hill Elementary School and Woodrow Wilson Middle School) and an assistant principal at Middletown High School.

Interestingly, the BOE also voted this evening to modify Policy 4111 (Personnel - Certified). Specifically, the old policy regarding the hiring of Administrative Staff allowed the Superintendent to override the interview committee's candidate selection. The new policy calls for a slate of finalists to be recommended to the Board of Education for interviews, with the Board and the Superintendent interviewing candidates together.

The Board of Education has hired Cooperative Educational Service to assist in the search for a new Superintendent, and is hopeful that the search will be concluded by the end of June.

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