Deena Bishop, superintendent of Anchorage public schools, says this blogger got it all wrong, and that children are not being forced to kneel all day on gardening pads. They can also sit criss-cross on the floor.
In a note to a parent, Bishop also misreported the story from Must Read Alaska, which did not indicate the photos were from Whaley School.
Bishop’s wrote, “Blogs are not the best place to find truth.”
She continued, “Thank you for inquiring though. Please know, I regret a blogger posted pictures and statements without the actual story of the classroom. You see, the pictures depict two elementary classrooms, one kindergarten and one second grade to be exact, and not Whaley school. In preparing classrooms for learning with 6 feet of distance or 3 feet with a divider, these teachers desired to be innovative and creative in their early learning classrooms where children, sing, learn, and play with movement utilizing small groupings. Primary classes utilize carpet time and often sit “Criss Cross Applesauce” as you might remember from school.”
The pictures in question that were posted at MRAK came from parents who toured their children’s schools in Anchorage. Must Read Alaska was careful to not name the schools, but a national writer at The Blaze mistakenly referred to the photo as depicting a classroom at the Whaley School.
“Rather than adding tables to their room and utilizing plexiglass dividers which take up a great deal of space, they chose to allow movement and grouping—freedom rather than the ‘militant’ restrictions as reported. I regret that a blogger took something positive and turned it so negative. These teachers were eager to get their kids back. They had a wonderful day yesterday!” Bishop wrote to the parent who asked for an explanation.
“Additionally, the teachers have access to other rooms as well with tables for alternate learning needs where a seat and a table are more conducive. Please know our schools are welcoming, and we hope the blogger will update her site as we have provided her the opportunity to get the facts in these classrooms,” Bishop stated. MRAK has received no such outreach from Bishop, however, but did get a note from the Whaley School principal, after which we were able to explain to her that MRAK did not identify the school in the photo, and did not say it was Whaley.
Another parent sent a photo from her child’s classroom, which has an entirely different set up for the youngest students.
The original story is at this link: