BMHS principal placed on leave

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Ramos

BELOIT - Beloit Memorial High School Principal Orlando Ramos has been placed on administrative leave. The announcement comes on the heels of a school district investigation into allegations against the principal, and a visit by Ramos to a job interview in another state.

Interim Superintendent Donald Childs sent an email to Beloit Memorial High School (BMHS) staff on Wednesday afternoon informing them Ramos is on administrative leave. The email stated no further information will be forthcoming because it involves a personnel matter.

When the Beloit Daily News contacted board President Pam Charles Wednesday, she confirmed that Ramos has been placed on administrative leave but wouldn't give any further details, citing personnel confidentiality.

She said the board has not met to discuss the details, and that the situation is being handled by the interim superintendent.

When contacted about who will be filling in for Ramos in his absence, Public Information Officer Brian Vissers said the district didn't have any information to provide.

Multiple calls to Childs were not returned as of press time.

In an Jan. 28 interview, Childs told the Beloit Daily News the district had completed an investigation into allegations against Ramos with the findings to be discussed in closed session at a Jan. 29 board meeting.

The newspaper learned from a source a complaint had been submitted by an employee and the district hired an external consultant to investigate it.

The Beloit Daily News has submitted a legal request under the Wisconsin Public Records Act for documents related to the allegations and the investigation's findings. The district has acknowledged possessing documents responsive to the request and started a process to disclose the information as required by law.

The investigation against Ramos followed two letters submitted by district staff to the board on behalf of BMHS assistant principals Janay Banks-Wilson and Jaymee Thompson. Administration had proposed to transfer both assistant principals to other schools.

According to a high school staff survey, some staff members thought there was a hostile work environment at the high school, while Ramos said there was pushback against some of his new literacy initiatives and staff workload.

Banks-Wilson is the wife of school board Vice President David Wilson.

During the recent investigation, Ramos has been in the running for a new position in Ohio.

A story published in The Plain Dealer on Jan. 31 by Patrick O'Donnell lists Ramos as a finalist for a CEO position with the East Cleveland City Schools. There are six finalists listed for the jobs. The news article lists Ramos as "an assistant superintendent of the Milwaukee school district and a former associate superintendent of the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) schools."

An article published Feb. 1 in The Plain Dealer by Matthew Richmond quotes Ramos and the other candidates during their pitches to the community. Ramos stressed his literacy training, the article stated.

Ramos began at Beloit Memorial High School on July 16.

Ramos did not respond to phone calls from the newspaper as of press time.

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