We will hold a meeting tonight at 6:30pm
To show our support, Come up with ideas to get our teacher back!
Olivia's Consignment 4 kids
4140 California AVE SW
We will hold a meeting tonight at 6:30pm
To show our support, Come up with ideas to get our teacher back!
Olivia's Consignment 4 kids
4140 California AVE SW
WHAT???? my girls are both alums of SP and I spent a lot of time there and have known Mr. Keller since we were kids...what happened?
He is out on leave because he stopped a child from hurting another child, He was gently trying to get him to go to the office! He has been out of the class for more than 2 weeks now and we don't have a date of his return yet!
Oh dear! Is there a normal time-frame for this kind of thing?
To this day he is my daughters favorite teacher. We always see him around West Seattle and he is always so happy and good with all the kids.
Talk about a travesty. There is no way he would have done anything wrong to warrent this.
I wont be off work & back in WS in time for the meeting to offer this - so I'll offer it here. I know that principals hold a lot of power in these situations, and that Principal K. can - with an exhaustive amount of effort and an arsonal of facts - be convinced he was wrong about somthing.
It will be difficult to get the facts about the child who was sent (escorted?) to the office unless that parent provides them. Mr. Keller has to be careful not to name the child in telling his side. It's also possible (this is pure speculation on my part) that Mr. Keller has to be on leave while the school investigates to CY(everyones)A if the parents of the "sent" child decide to sue.
However, having parents sign a petition / letter of support and then if/when Principal K. ignors it have a mass rally (end of school day to disrupt Principal K's "quiet time" without disrupting the actual school day) in the front of the school might do it.
Mr. Keller has been an important part of the lives of many of our children and an important member of the community. It looks like he needs our help to send a message to the school district and the principal to correct the injustice that has happened to him. He does not deserve this witch hunt but does deserve to continue teaching our kids with the enthusiasm and passion he has always brought to the classroom.
2 much whine - my feelings exactly. He is an amazing teacher and it is a huge loss for the kids.
I know that the boy that was being "aggressive" has left the school. I wonder if it is that the whole thing is being looked into and Mr. Keller can not return until they have looked at all the information. I certainly hope he is able to return. He is one of our best teachers. Halloween parade will not be the same without our Bee :-(
I think I know who you are talking about letshelp, and if that's the case I'm hoping this is a formality that has to be done. I feel for those with kids in his class and a little communication for parents would be a big help.
I did not see this until now - to late. Can you let us know if you have organized anything???
Mr Keller has been there since my days at Schmitz - at least 14 years ago. People always clamored to get into his class and he still remembers all his students from his first class there. I hope this gets settled and he's reinstated.
He is great. Our family had gotten off to an amazing school year in September, but is now discouraged by Mr. Keller’s absence and the waning progress of our 1st grade son in reading and writing. Mr. Keller has a rare talent for identifying what motivates every child individually. He quickly got our son to “buy-in” to the idea that learning is fun and good behavior is rewarding. My son’s positive reaction to Mr Keller is amazing! His students await his touch of Japanese infusion, puzzle mania, and the raw energy he shows up with.
Mr. Keller created a major spark for learning and loving school for my son in the first month of school this year. In his absence, the spark is gone. Getting him back in the classroom now is crucial for all the kids. Some of this is out of our hands, but our collective support of Mr. Keller is urgent. And drawing attention to what giant void his absence means to the school, the parents, and most importantly, our children, is something we can all do. The parents of Room 8 are unified in this and will be doing everything we can to get him back, and at this point, we need all of West Seattle to get behind him too.
This is a sad and unfortunate situation for Schmitz Park Elementary and especially for the students of RM. 8. Mr. Keller has been a pinnacle part of Schmitz Park's success for over a decade. We were beyond excited when we learned our son would be fortunate enough to attend his 1st grade class. Within 4 weeks of learning from Mr. Keller, our son displayed enthusiasm and pride in his work that was evident of Mr. Keller's gentle approach while engaging his students. Not only is Mr. Keller a positive and patient teacher, his influence contributes to the ongoing success of the school as well as the W. Seattle community. We are often reminded of his kindness by parents
and former students alike that have had the honor of being in his class. "Mr. Keller was their favorite teacher of all time". We look forward to his return!
Mr. Keller is a great teacher period. He was able to get my son to buy into school as others have mentioned. This is the most difficult and important function a teacher can perform. He did it with what appeared to be ease and that is the truest example of someone who is great at what they do. Bring him back. Our kids deserve him.
Mr. Keller has a gift for teaching and reaching students where they are. He encourages the students to get excited and passionate about what they're accomplishing. It's not just the children in his current classroom that are missing out. He is accessible and open to all of the kids in the school as well as past students who come to visit him. His absence is creating a huge loss at the school during a time when they are over crowded and overwhelmed to begin with.
BRING HIM BACK!!!
The community demands it. He is the best and most inspirational teacher at sp. This is unfair to his students and to future students. Suspend the administration.
Yes, Kids need him !
Mr.Keller is a great teacher. SPS and the principal at Schmitz Park, don't make a wrong decision. Brig him back!!!
Thanks everyone for all the support! SPS Bring Keller back ASAP!
What a shame that such a wonderful person/teacher is being kept out of his own classroom! Whatever it takes we the people, past, present & future need to do whatever it takes to get him back to his classroom! He has much to share with his students. Pls keep us posted!! I have no problem signing petitions or rallying to put him back in his classroom. Mr. Keller rock's!! He is one of the good guys!
This is a true shame and unfortunate that now Mr. Keller is the latest victim of the school principal and his dictoral leadership. We have lost a couple of teachers, might loose more and great ones like Mr. Keller have to suffer and all this affects our kids.
When does it stop and when will there be accountability and commonsense.
Bring back Mr. Keller ASAP for the school and students sake!
Remove and investigate the principle NOT the life changing teachers with proven records!
We have been at Schmitz Park for six years and had Mr. Keller one of those years, and we were pleased with him. We are also pleased with the principal, Mr. Kischner. He has been at the school for 5 of our 6 years since we have been at Schmitz Park. When he came to the school, there were just 300 students; now there are 540. This has been quite a challenge for this principal, and he has handled the challenge well in our family’s opinion. We are very pleased with the job Mr. Kischner has done at Schmitz Park, despite the massive growth that he has been forced to deal with. He cares about the students and is passionate about their learning.
Please do not be too quick to blame the principal for this situation. Situations like these are often out of the principal’s control and strict Seattle Public School protocol must be followed. I hope this can be resolved quickly, we can get Mr. Keller back to passionately teaching his class, and this can be done without attacking an excellent principal.
Hear, hear, SP Dad. We are at Schmitz Park and love Mr. Keller. He is a wonderful teacher whose ability to connect with kids is extraordinary and a fabulous thing to behold. We also love our principal and I am always amazed at his ability to connect with students and families while also managing severe growing pains as Schmitz continues to burst. He is a wonderful, warm, helpful, capable professional, and is no doubt acutely aware of the huge vote of confidence Mr. Keller wields in the community. Whatever the situation was that precipitated the suspension (and it seems like the sort of thing that should be kept private unless the families involved choose to make it public), I'm hopeful that things get worked out and Mr. Keller can get back to his kiddos as soon as possible.
Over the last 10 years Mr. Keller has been a constant in my family’s life. This year he is teaching my 4th child, Olivia. It’s hard to figure out where to start when it comes to this amazing teacher, but I will give a few examples of why we love Mr. Keller so much!
Mr. Keller has always instilled a true love for learning, He makes it fun and exciting every day. Parents and Children see really quick that this man loves what he is doing & how wonderful he is. He is caring, Patient and Remembers is students by name. He see’s them all over the community and they flock to him. Too so many students and parents he is “that favorite Teacher” That they will remember their entire life.
For me, He is a man that took my little boy Greg under his wing. When my son started Kindergarten he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. As you can imagine he missed A LOT of school, With Chemo visits every week and the aftermath of chemo he was sick a lot. Missing so much Kindergarten really affected him. His writing and reading was very poor. We thought of holding him back, but we wanted to keep him with his friends. He had already suffered so much that we didn’t want to put him thru that too. Mr. Keller worked with him, he was patient with him and he taught him all the things he would have learned in kindergarten and what he needed to learn in first grade. He taught him to read, write and he gave him a great sense of accomplishment.
For this Family, Mr. Keller will always be “The One”, The one teacher that stands out, The one that truly has a passion and love of teaching. Schmitz Park Elementary would and currently is facing a huge loss without this teacher.
This whole situation is a travesty for the entire SP community! We can rally in support of Mr. Keller without choosing sides. The fact is we don't have all the facts and we likely will not. I choose to believe in positive intent- I believe that Mr. Keller acted in a way he believed kept children safe, either from hurting themself or others. I believe Mr. Kischner acted in a way he felt was responsible based on information he had. Our growing community cannot afford to turn against each other. Let's not divide on this issue.
Mr. Keller is a true gem. He is that one of a kind teacher that you cross your fingers and hope for. We hit the jackpot once and we have two more kids that we hope will be as lucky.
Mr. Keller is an inspirational teacher, one that goes above and beyond. For example, last winter in the snow storm he was asked to check on some pipes at the school. While doing so, he noticed that our child had left their Writing Journal at school so he continued on through the snow and the dark and delivered the journal to our house.
Mr. Keller teaches our children so much from the three R's to Japanese to how to treat one another kindly, fairly, and with respect. What a travesty if he is not treated fairly and with respect in this matter.
Bring Mr. Keller back to Schmitz Park so that he can continue doing what he loves and so that all of us can benefit from his exceptional teaching, especially our children.
Can I just say that after all these amazing posts, I am SO ticked that he got hired the year after I had the chance to be in his class! Talk about missing out... Japanese?! I could actually read my own tattoo with that kind of knowledge! :)
I will direct some of my fellow 1990's SPers to this forum too with some more testimonials. Can't hurt!
I have know Mr. Keller since we were kids. He has always been a gentle soul. I really hope and pray that for our children's sake that he will be back in the classroom soon. How disruptive to the kids. Should he have stood by and watch another student get hurt? Is the child that he had to stop back in school?
Well said, reader!
I have two kids at Schmitz Park and both have been lucky enough to be in Mr. Keller’s class. He connects with children and accepts, respects and appreciates them as individuals. He is an excellent teacher with a strong moral compass that is evident in everything he does.
For many years the Schmitz Park community has been made up of a partnership of engaged parents, supportive leadership and a teaching staff with diverse life experiences and a genuine love of learning. We have numerous examples of unique curriculum and programs that are the result of having this passionate staff supported by capable leadership and invested parents. Mr. Keller has been a key part of upholding this community and inspiring kids to do their best in school and in life. Schmitz Park needs Mr. Keller and we look forward to having him back as soon as possible!
Perhaps we could continue to support Mr. Keller and hold off on crucifying the principal until all the facts are known.
I fail to see how anyone is, "Crucifying," Mr. Kischner by e-mailing him or seeking information on a beloved teacher and member of our community. It is the principal's responsibility to keep families informed of events impacting the education of our children. I am sure that he and Mr. Keller both have signed confidentiality/disclosure documents pending the investigation, but in week three of this situation, he needs to show leadership and respond to families' questions and concerns. That is his job, after all, as the leader of a school.
I have been to many school functions in the last several years and have noticed tension between Mr. Keller and Mr. Kischner (and Mr. Parsley when he was still there). I am highly suspicious of this situation, though I respect both men involved, and I hope that this issue can be resolved quickly. Until then, I'm with Ms. Sparkles, no more donations until things are resolved and questions answered.
To those posting on this topic:
I've been watching this one closely because it's regarding what so far as I can tell is a personnel matter. Most posts have done a great job of following our rules regarding not disclosing or accusing, but I have deleted one that went off on a tangent to something that didn't even sound related to the matter of folks trying to organize to show their support for a teacher. I don't want to have to close this but if there is anything more that veers off topic, I will. thanks - TR
Thank you for keeping the strand open. As you can tell, this is a really emotional issue. I want to give my last 2 cent cautionary tale. An Instructional Assistant at the school I teach at went out on administrative leave for a very different reason, which was caught on video and pretty cut and dry, and it took 4 months for the investigation to even begin. During that time, we had sub after sub and it was extremely hard on all involved. I really hope that is not the normal timeline, but I think students, families, and staff should be prepared.
spparent, I think the crucifying comment was directed at folks on this thread who are using language about removing/investigating the principal, the principal victimizing teachers, being a dictator etc., not families' earnest attempts to get answers through proper channels at school! May I ask what sort of communication there has been to families of children in Mr. Keller's class? I agree with your perception about the tension!
Not sure what lead to this situation but our children are the ones suffering from it. Mr Keller has been a wonderful teacher to our 2 oldest daughters. We were hopping he could help our little one who's having difficulties and now this...
I realize how selfish this post is but if only for the interest of our children, please bring back Mr Keller!
To NT, I don't know what communication has been sent specifically because my child isn't in his class and I don't personally know anyone who is. The playground talk, though, is very little information has been given other than to not expect him back before the end of October.
I've know Mr. Keller for almost 10 years. He helped my son through a very tough kindergarten year (he was the teacher next door) and has been his soccer coach. I hold him in the highest regard and I'll do anything I can to help this tragic situation. Things like this, whatever the outcome, can ruin a teacher's career in addition to all the damage done to the students and families who are going through this mess. Mr. Keller has taught hundreds of children in not only West Seattle, but other schools in Seattle as well, and this is no way to treat him!
I have faith that Mr. Keller will be back at Schmitz Park, but there will have to be a lot of healing and building bridges back when he does.
The deleted post was a copy of an email I sent to Principal Kishner. I didn't believe it violated the rules; I believed it to be on topic because this topic was started as "what can we do?" Not seeing a clear directive of "please, let’s all do X" I did what I thought was correct and posted it as an example.
The only disclosure in my post was my own daughter's name - I voluntarily deleted the name of the teacher to whose actions I referred. The two situations I described were not accusation - they are facts of actual circumstances that happened to my daughter at SP. Following the rant rules, when these actions first occurred I contacted both Principal K. and the teacher involved.
I am a mother of three and have been a member of the Schmitz Park community for going on ten years. Two of my children had the privilege of having Mr. Keller for their first grade teacher. Both of them really thrived in his classroom. He is that special kind of teacher that I know my children will always remember as their favorite. Schmitz Park is the great school community that it is, in large part because of great teachers. Mr. Keller tops that list.
Mr. Keller creates a warm and caring environment in his classroom. He makes sure all his pupils are learning what's required, but more importantly he sees that they all develop a sense of compassion and inclusion for their classmates, as well as a strong love for learning. He encourages empathy and teaches the kids, in part through his own behavior, how to really care for each other. My kids both thrived academically in his class, but more importantly they learned to love school and learning and to care about their friends.
My daughter cried at the end of first grade because she didn't want it to end. She also was hoping to get Ms. Bailey this year just so she could look across the hall and still see Mr. Keller and room 8. She is doing well in second grade this year, but has noticed "Keller Sensei's" absence and she is worried about him. We all hope he returns to room 8 and Schmitz Park as soon as possible. Mr Keller is a gentle caring person and a great teacher. It is not fair to him or his current students to keep him from doing his job.
Please bring Mr. Keller back.
Ms. Sparkles, I thought your sharing that email was fine but this is not my blog and I do respect the decisions WSB makes for their site.
Most importantly, I was wondering if you got a response from the principal? If so, do you have any info to share? Thanks.
John Q. - Thanks, and no, not yet - if I do, I'll let you know.
I currently have a daughter that is going there and she loves Mr Keller. Also, my son went there over 6 years ago and he liked him as well. Mr Keller if a great and wonderful teacher. We need more teachers like him and should do everything we can to support him.
I received a response from Principal K. - to paraphrase it says he respects Mr. Keller too much to disclose anything about this private issue and that this issue is "completely out of (his) control."
He did not specifically say the matter was in the district's hands, but I did ask in my response if he could disclose who in the district is handling this because we as a community want to ensure that the person with final judgment hears from the community.
If anyone wants to see the full email chain, including my original email to Principal K. that was deleted from this forum, send me and email - my home email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I think the Health and Safety Department at Seattle Public Schools is the place to start to give our feedback. The Harvest Festival is on Friday - my family will not be attending. Hate to take it out on my child, but we'll give our money to West Seattle Bowl instead.
I was on the PTA board as an officer for a couple years and involved in many of the events during our tenure there. As the treasurer I saw first hand the money going in and out...it directly affects the Schmitz Park and the students there. None of the money went to the district ever. The Harvest Festival money(as is all the funds raised by the PTA) is spent directly on the projects/programs or for capital purchases that are determined by the PTA membership. While not attending could send a message to the principal and up perhaps, it will hurt the students directly there. Just a thought.
Really, the Harvest Festival is where you'll vent your frustration? If this was such a closed case, don't you think Mr. Keller would be right back in his class room by now? So either the parents are making a case here, or perhaps Mr. Keller isn't the Team Player everyone thinks he is. I've not had any of my children in his class, but frankly, I was always a little put off by him. I appreciate his followers, but I also believe Mr. Kishner is an upstanding principal with sound values and has the kids best interests in mind.
It's not frustration or anger at this point, just sadness regarding the situation. My husband and I do not want to go to the Harvest Festival since things won't be resolved yet and my husband and I are pretty torn up over this after knowing Mr. Keller for so long. Regardless if he is or is not a team player, he's a good guy who loves kids and did a lot for ours. I do not believe he did anything other than deal with an aggressive kid the way many kindergarten and first grade teachers have to every once in a blue moon and take them to the office.
I like and respect both the guys. I've given thousands of dollars to Schmitz Park over the last 9 years, including $250 in the last two months (even though I'm totally opposed to spending so much money on Singapore Math but that's another story), so I don't think my kid or the other students or programs will suffer too much if we don't spend the $5 to go play some games and barely be able to fit in the hallways.
Our daughter, by the way, knows nothing of the situation and just thinks we're going bowling because she has a friend sleeping over that doesn't go to S.P.
If I understand you correctly,
1) Your kid attends Schmitz Park Elementary.
2) You plan on making no more donations to the school your child attends.
3) You plan to no longer volunteer at the school your child attends.
4) You are boycotting the Harvest Festival, which raises money for the school in which your child attends.
This is a most fascinating approach!
Well, I know this much. I do not like some of the changes that have happen over the last 3 years. I know that the principle has been trying to remove Mr. Keller for the last 2 and 1/2 years. If this were not true, then the principle would do more to support and defend Mr. Keller. I feel that if Mr. Keller cannot be respected as a teacher with his own method of teaching children by the principle. Then it is time to find someone else to be S.P principle. The children that I know that have had Mr. Keller as teachers, love him and do not want to leave or go on because they enjoy his class, my daughter included. I do not agree with stopping the support for S.P. but I feel that if you really want to affect Mr. Keller positively. Then everyone that is mad about this should show up at the next PTA meeting to let your voice be heard. I know that I will be looking that information up and going myself.
Please do not stop supporting our school, even though there are bad chooses being made. Get those people out and make sure that you are involved in getting someone else whom is more qualified to understand that every kid learns differently and there are many different ways of teaching.
You know, John Oh, I don't say this often, but you're right to be sarcastic and after an exciting election night and calming down about that stuff, I have to confess I'm all bark and no bite. At the risk of breaking any rules or going off on tangents, which I don't want because I want to keep this strand going, I will respond.
1. Yes, my daughter attends S.P. and is blissfully happy. My husband and I are happy for the most part, too, and the main things we aren't happy about, growth and lack of diversity, are out of the school's control. This is a huge difference from our experience 9 years ago when there was a different principal, but good old Mr. Keller was there helping our kid feel half way decent about himself when his teacher (no longer there) kept him in a corner the whole year and yelled at him. That is the number one reason I care so much about helping Mr. Keller!
2. I have already paid $250 of my $320 suggested amount/bill since school started. Generally my family gives at least $800ish when all is said and done each year, so we have probably donated around $4,000 to the school in our 5+ years of kids attending, even when we weren't happy about things. (I have also donated hundreds of dollars the last few years to my daughter's classrooms.) I never said I would never give money again. I am holding off giving any more money until things are resolved with Mr. Keller because it frustrates me that there's been no communication about the situation, but plenty in the newsletter week after week to give money so I feel it's all I can do as a parent. If and when Mr. Keller returns or something comes out that he, in fact, demonstrated misconduct with a student, which I can't even begin to believe, I will resume donations.
3. My husband, and this will give me away, runs the amazing weekly Chess Program. I work full time as a kindergarten teacher so I really can only do field trips, but I am not volunteering for the Harvest Festival as I have done for 5 years when my kids have attended the school because I don't want to be there right now and think/talk about it.
4. Yes, I'm boycotting the Harvest Festival for all the reasons above, though it's hardly a difficult decision to make since I don't think anything will suffer, my introverted daughter could care less, and I don't look forward to the massive crowd. I admire the fact the school wants to keep up the tradition and I doubt the purpose of the festival is to make money anyway.
As I've said before, my heart is going out to Mr. Keller, his students and their families, and most likely the impact it has on the staff. I understand that the school has to be very careful about communication in situations like these, but I feel frustrated that nothing has been communicated to ease our minds, while there's information every week about giving money.
I have mentioned before that I'm very suspicious of the evident tension between Mr. Keller and Mr. Kischner - whom I remind people I continue to say I have respect for, and I wonder if this tension plays into this situation.
On a very personal note, I have been turned down twice when I applied for a job at Schmitz Park that I was more than qualified and recommended for. I am, like Mr. Keller, a 20ish year veteran of Seattle Public Schools. Like all veteran teachers, we to started out young, idealistic, and ready to jump on whatever the latest curriculum craze was.
Our first teaching positions were both in extremely challenging schools in the CD in the early 90's at the height of the crack epidemic. When you start your career in schools like these, the most important thing is to get the kids attention, manage the classroom, and keep the kids coming back. To do this, you have to be dynamic, spirited, and get a bag of tricks FAST!
It is not uncommon, then, for veteran teachers who have been around the block and highly successful for years to not ask how high to jump when a new principal comes in and wants to make changes that you feel aren't in the best interest of your students. I believe that this is what's caused the tension between Mr. Keller and Mr. Kischner.
I was extremely upset and I will admit that I did not handle the situation well when I was not hired the first time. The second time I figured it was worth a try to apply and get closer to home, but I knew the game and wasn't surprised to see another first year teacher hired instead. I quickly tried to smooth things over with the staff and fully know everyone who knows the situation thinks I'm in the wrong and crazy and probably dreads having my kid because they think I'm an evil woman. Luckily, I haven't felt any mistreatment towards my daughterso far, adore her teachers, and just have to take a few deep breaths in my car before I enter the school since I'm now forever uncomfortable from this experience but put my daughter before my feelings.
The reason I am disclosing this is not to go on a tangent, but just to explain further why my heart goes to Mr. Keller and any teacher that goes through this situation with a principal, as well as all the people it affects. People forget that we all were new bubbly teachers, but our experience makes us GREAT teachers, though outspoken at times.
Finally, I'm not getting overly involved in this situation because of sour grapes, though I'll always have a raisin in my back pocket because I don't think veteran teachers are valued at the school. If you doubt me, look at the track record in the last three years of new hires - all first year or very new teachers. I do think Mr. Kischner has made some very positive changes to the school and I've let him know that. I do know, though, that Mr. Keller has had a huge impact on hundreds of children's lives.
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