NSD Team, We are deeply saddened that this is a message needing shared but with ugly and sensationalized misinformation swirling in our community, our team deserves the truth. As many of you have likely seen, our District, our team, and our integrity have been under attack. As frustrating as it has been, we have chosen the high road over the past few months. We have answered all questions asked and fulfilled 5 sunshine law requests, taking up hours of District employee time, free of charge to those making the requests because we felt our community is owed whatever information they ask. However, recently an article was released so full of twisted information and false accusations that we can no longer stay quiet. Because of legal reasons regarding personnel, there are many details we cannot disclose, but we will do our best to share what we can.
As a community we came together to pass a bond that would provide a beautiful and functional space for our kids to learn. That space has been an amazing addition to our District and a source of pride to the people who built it and those who get to be in it every day. Our kids are getting to experience learning in a way they never were before and it shows. Constructing a building of that size and importance is no easy feat, especially when it isn’t something our District has done for a long time. Sure, there were experiences to learn from and notes for the future - we don’t pretend to be perfect. However, at no point were any people on our team or members of our board doing anything for any purpose except to provide a learning space we could all be proud of for years to come. Our board followed their policies through the natural ups and downs of construction, and made decisions based on the financial information they were provided. A detailed timeline and financial slide deck that was presented at the November work session has been linked here for any who would like to see final numbers. Our board of education has also been very open about the communication between them during the NJH project. There was a point when our board president and vice president, Brett and Steve, were provided information from the finance department that they didn’t share immediately, knowing that details were still being gathered. Once the details of the information were confirmed, all board members were informed.
Last, there have been personnel changes in our central office and those changes have been challenging. While again, we cannot disclose everything, what we can say is that we want our lead offices to be places of customer service, welcoming atmosphere, teamwork, and competence. If you have questions, we encourage you to ask - ask those who helped us build it, ask those teachers who helped select the design and furniture, ask those who were at the monthly board meetings for the duration of the construction. We will never be perfect but we hope that you see the efforts we have made to communicate with you all first and with transparency. We also know that there are a lot of details left unaddressed in this message and that is frustrating - we agree. There was much deliberation on whether a message of this sort would even help the situation, but we would rather reach out with the information that we can, than sit back and pretend it’s not happening. We will continue to cooperate and we hope to see this negative cloud leave our District so we can turn our full focus to the work that matters, our kids. In the meantime, keep up your good work, keep changing lives, and please reach out with any questions. -The Central Office Team
State investigators examining discrepancies, lack of transparency in Neosho Junior High building project