It is unfortunate that a statement made by Steve Brinkman,
assistant superintendent for the Gilroy Unified School District,
was misconstrued either by one of our board members or the
It is unfortunate that a statement made by Steve Brinkman, assistant superintendent for the Gilroy Unified School District, was misconstrued either by one of our board members or the Dispatch. (Steve’s statement referred to not having room for all the students who live in our school district who attend school elsewhere.) The implication in the article, “Why Are Students Leaving?” was that the district does not, as per Steve’s comment, welcome new students to the district. Let’s be reasonable.
Steve has been extremely supportive and directly involved in improving attendance. When we enroll students who have been truant, we do so very much aware that those students will, in most cases, drive down our daily attendance statistics as well as our test scores. Yet, Steve shares a commitment, with those of us working in attendance recovery, of trying to educate our youth for their own benefit and that of our community. He values education and the future of these young people much more than improved statistics. To not want students who are academically well prepared and attending non-Gilroy Unified schools does not make a whole lot of sense.
Without asking, I know Steve meant that if we were all of a sudden to receive 300 new students we would have difficulty placing them – and we certainly would. No board member would disagree. But that is a far cry from implying that Steve or the district does not welcome new students who gradually filter into our programs. Let’s be reasonable and not take a dedicated and hard-working individual’s words out of context.
Frank Valadez, District Attendance Officer,
Gilroy Unified School District