Board counters inaccuracies in leaked email on decision to not renew charter school director's contract

May 22 2011 - 7:03am

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Joshua Bell
Joshua Bell

KAYSVILLE -- A recent decision by the Oquirrh Mountain Charter School Board to not renew the contract of charter school director Joshua T. Bell has the electronic circuits burning.

Bell was notified May 6 that his yearly employment agreement would not be renewed for the 2011-12 school year, said Bill Comeau, OMCS board chairman.

It is the policy of the charter school, located at 1425 S. Angel St. in Kaysville, to provide annual one-year contracts to its administrators, faculty and staff, Comeau said.

He declined to share why Bell's contract was not renewed, saying it was a personnel matter.

Bell has been with the school since it opened two years ago.

The decision by the board resulted in an anonymous email being sent Thursday to the 700-student school community indicating the OMCS Board had wrongfully fired Bell and that teachers were walking out of the school to rally in support of the director.

Charter school officials claim the email was erroneous, with no teachers walking out of the school and only a handful of parents attending the rally.

"Unfortunately, (on Thursday) an email was sent to parents by an individual providing inaccurate information including that 'the teachers are walking out,' " stated an email sent out by the five-member OMCS Board.

"We as a board, and the faculty, want you to know that the teachers would never walk out.

"We are disheartened by such an email that would disrupt the school community and potentially put the children at risk. Understandably, we have received many emails and questions about Bell's employment and the email sent out by an unknown person.

"We apologize for the way this information was leaked and we certainly do not feel it was beneficial to the school or Bell."

The board will continue its investigation into how the information about Bell's termination was leaked. Officials said there will be no change in the school's vision or curriculum as a result of Bell's departure.

The board continues to work with Bell to help mitigate any impact this situation may have on him and the school community, OMCS Board members stated in the email to parents of students in kindergarten through ninth grade.

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