An Open Letter to Cherokee Schools
Lyn Michaels-Carden said Cherokee Charter Academy did respond to the Cherokee County School District's request for enrollment information.
To Barbara Jacoby and the Cherokee County School District,
Although the GCEF has not received a copy of the letter that was electronically sent to the media (it appears it was sent regular mail to us) regarding the enrollment list request, a contact was kind enough to forward a copy of it to us for review.
The Cherokee Charter website does not list a registration deadline, nor are we issuing one at this time because we do not yet have approval for a school. We sent letters to parents who could not attend the lottery notifying them that their child was drawn and giving them instructions on how to go on line to accept a seat at the school. We included in the letter a request to accept by Thursday, May 26th. The acceptance is not a registration. Until parents complete registration information we have no “enrolled” students. For those parents whom we have not yet heard from, we are following up with a phone call to ensure there acceptance letter was not lost in the mail.
As we stated in our letter, dated May 27, 2011 and including in the revised petition “With regard to your request for a list of students enrolled in Cherokee Charter Academy, we need additional time to compile the information”. The only information we can gather at this point is the students who have accepted so far. Our request for an extension was to allow us time to give you a more complete list. You did not give us any indication that there was a problem with that extended timeline.
Since that letter was sent, we have been advised by our attorney that your request does not fall under the open records law and we are not obligated to provide that information to you. We have also been advised that we would be violating the privacy act by providing the names of students enrolled, as you requested. We will however, provide schools and grades because we do understand you need that information for budgeting purposes.
As for gathering all the information that you requested at the end of your memo this afternoon, we will try to get it to you as quickly as possible, June 6th is an unmanageable deadline. As you can imagine we are dealing with quite a bit right now and adding a slew of unnecessary paper work because you are trying to make some kind of a point is, in my opinion not a productive use of time. Especially considering the amount of information that we have already sent and I know the school board and school district is currently going through.
We are trying very hard to create a cooperative working environment with the CCSD in the interest of the 995 families who will be affected by the outcome of our efforts. We have diligently attempted to provide requested information in as timely a manner as possible. It was disconcerting to receive your letter from someone who received it via email, well before we received it via traditional mail. I would ask that in the future, if the school district makes a request of the GCEF that is sent electronically to the media, that they offer the same courtesy to us.
Lyn Michaels-Carden, GCEF Board Member