Parent Letter: ‘For the first time…Joey has enjoyed one-on-one attention every day’

Date: May 30, 2014

The following letter was recently sent to the Director of Post Secondary and Workforce Readiness at our center in Englewood, Colo., which is operated through a partnership with Weld County School District 6.

We are so thankful that Ms. Thompson gave us permission to share her words.

Ms.Diana Zakhem
Director of Post Secondary and Workforce Readiness
Englewood Schools

May 29, 2014

Ms. Zakhem,

Four months ago, my daughter, Joey Dennis, transferred to the Ombudsman Program from Englewood High School proper. Joey is a freshman, and a good student. Her reasons for leaving Englewood High School had to do with the sudden presence of a student with whom Joey could not see daily and have any sense of security. The Ombudsman Program was our only option and frankly, due to my ignorance, I was not happy with the solution.

I have since learned that there are as many reasons for students to take advantage of the program as there are students, not the least of which is that the program allows students to work. In a district where 75% of the students live in homes with incomes under the poverty level, that is an important consideration.

From Joey’s first day, Mr. Mitchell Moore and all the teachers have made Joey feel valued, safe and liked, not only as a student, but as a person.

Joey is the kind of child often lost in the system. She is sweet, quiet and polite. Joey is a good student- not so stellar that anyone notices, but neither is she struggling to the point where she receives attention on that end of the spectrum.

For the first time in her educational experience, Joey has enjoyed one on one attention every day. Her teachers have proved once again what I have always known to be true. If a student shows even a modicum of interest, there is no hoop a teacher won’t jump through to help the child to succeed..

Joey works hard every minute she is at school, which amounts to more time spent actually studying and learning than was ever the case in traditional school. She is spared the distraction of cliques, etc., because there is no time for those things.

I do not recall Joey sharing with me that which she has learned at school since she left elementary school, something she does on a daily basis. She speaks about her future – a future that includes college and a career.

Joey has shared with me conversations she’s had with different staff members and it pleases me that they invest so much of themselves. Joey has inferred from every person at “her school” that they care for and about her and want to see her succeed.

I’ve reared five children and I have come to believe that without self-esteem, nothing else a child has matters all that much. I realize that educators cannot do everything, but they do have a huge impact on kids and the educators at the Ombudsman Program have done so much for Joey.

The program is not a great fit for every kid, but it has been a wonderful fit for Joey, and I am extremely grateful she’s had the opportunity.

Sincerely,

Kim Thompson


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