Rockwood School District teachers receive email telling them to hide lesson materials, assignments from parents


The Literacy and Speech coordinator for grades 6-12 in the Rockwood School District sent a lengthy email to ELA teachers and principals to address concerns that had been raised by parents. (ELA = English Language Arts.) She lays out “recurring messages that appear in the emails” from parents and then makes suggestions about how teachers should address these concerns and complaints. (All highlights were already on the documents when Parents Defending Education received them.)

The whistleblowers who shared these documents with Parents Defending Education were particularly concerned about the explicit instructions to “pull the resource off Canvas so parents cannot see it.” (Canvas is the learning management system the district uses to manage assignments, grades etc.)

Parents Defending Education reached out to the district for comment and their communications director provided the following statement:

The email that was sent to teachers encouraging them to hide or alter content visible to parents was not reviewed or approved by anyone before it was disseminated by an individual staff member. It does not reflect the mission, vision and values of the district and is counter to the goals set forth in our strategic plan, The Way Forward. The Rockwood School District encourages transparency and recognizes open communication is vital between parents and our staff.  Parents are essential partners and allies in the education of our children. We welcome their feedback and authentic conversations with regard to all aspects of a student’s education and we stand behind our curriculum, which provides our students with well-rounded educational experiences so they are equipped for future success. — Mary LaPak, Executive Director of Communications, Rockwood School District