I’m writing about your lead article on May 19, 2006, “School board votes to stick with superintendent's recommendation,” the decision to terminate Charles Sides and German classes at the Woodward High School. Like Mr. Sides’ attorney, Mary Pratz, I am very disappointed in the School Board’s and the Superintendent’s decision.
I think the School Board and Superintendent should reconsider their decision and consider an innovative and collaborative solution to retain or hire Mr. Sides so Woodward High School and our students may continue to have a diverse learning curriculum. Mr. Sides could teach all 15 students German in one class and teach English for the remainder of his classes.
Why would we want to limit our curriculum because one year 15 students want to take German? Why we want to restrict our curriculum to one foreign language and deprive 15 students from taking a class they want next year? Also, with Woodward’s population growth, new students will be moving to Woodward and may want to enroll in German within the foreseeable future.
Since Mr. Sides is credentialed to teach English and has a stated interest in grammar, literature and culture he just might inspire some of his English class students to acquire an interest in learning German within a year or two?
In addition, I have seen Mr. Sides at the Woodward High School attending vocal and band concerts to support students and school programs. Another parent pointed Mr. Sides out to me as a fiber artist and someone who I might contact to teach working with wool and spinning classes.
Wool is an art form that is slowly making a comeback that may become an integral part of Oklahoma’s and Woodward’s budding agritourism efforts for economic development.
I believe with Mr. Sides’ diverse talents and obvious community interests his presence as a teacher would be a great loss to Woodward High School and Woodward’s community. I think it is in the community’s and students’ best interests for the School Board and Mr. Denton to give Mr. Sides a definite decision rather than keep him limbo regarding whether or not he has a job.