Sunday, August 31, 2008

Unprofessional Behavior vs "Teacher Bashing"

WHY DOES POINTING OUT UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT GET A PERSON LABELED AS A"TEACHER BASHER?"

WHY CAN'T TEACHERS DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMPLAINTS ABOUT UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND "TEACHER BASHING?"

WHY ARE CRITICISMS OF TEACHERS TAKEN SO PERSONALLY? ISN'T THIS DYSFUNCTIONAL BEHAVIOR?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Achramovitch Cancels Tuesday's Opening Ceremony

Anonymous said...
Our fearless leader and self proclaimed expert in labor relations has decided to cancel the traditional opening day ceremonies. The reason - an anticipated organized demonstration by GTA. What a wiss! I wonder if he plans to cancel the September board meeting also. Stevie Boy, you can't hide forever. Be a man and face the reality of your unpopularity and lack of confidence in you by your teachers and your style of "my way or else" leadership that you brought to this district. It didn't work for you in Kenmore and won't work here either.A pox on those who hired you. 8/29/2008 1:57 PM

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NICOLO TO GET OUT OF JAIL!

SENTENCING POSTPONED "INDEFINITELY"

ROEDER, SCHWAB & FINMAN SENTENCING WAS ALREADY PUT ON HOLD

It looks like you can get away with murder, as long as it's in Monroe County!!

CIP Yellow Tape Repairs Abound Across GCSD

Loewke & Brill Report
Completed Aug. 2006
Cost $225,000
Not Shared With Boe Until Now!

BOE Prez. Puts Onus On Taxpayers (Again!) To Watch GCSD Handle (Mishandle?) New $21.4 Million Project

"The CIP from 2000 from stem to stern is nothing more than a train wreck. It was one of the sloppiest jobs of management that you could possibly have ... Frankly I’m disgusted with the whole process. We seem to be our own worst enemy, to keep making missteps that cause people to mistrust us. I guess rightfully so.” ~~ Frank Oberg

“... And it’s just going to take time and people are just going to have to watch us and they’re going to have to work with us." ~~ BOE Prez. VanOrman Regarding New $21.4 Million Capital Improvement Project That Starts Next Year

MPNNow

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Security Voice Tipline To Field Employee Complaints

BOE Awards $2000/yr Contract Under Whistleblower Policy
MPNNow

Onus On Caller To Call Back Later ...

“That connection’s going to be very important for the caller to follow up with the call. Otherwise it will hamper the investigation.” ~~ Pat Tydings, BOE

WILL THIS BE WORKABLE?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jean-Claud Brizard: A Leader Who Cares About Educating Kids

RCD Supt. Makes HS Requirements More Rigorous By Requiring Courses Earlier

"It makes sense because one of the problems is kids are taking necessary courses much too late in their academic careers when they should be introduced to this stuff early on." ~~ RCD BOE Pres.- Malik Evans
STORY

WHERE IS OUR LEADERSHIP IN GREECE ON ACADEMICS??

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deficiencies: Can Unseen Problems Be Found For Repairs?

Anonymous said...
If I can be of a little help; Greece isn't alone in the deficient construction situation.

This problem was cured back in the last century when the State mandated a qualified Clerk of Work be on jobs where State money was spent. Unfortunately the corps of Clerks has diminished over the years, and certain contractors (the GC for Greece) have learned to ease paper qualified Clerks into the position. The paper qualified Clerks have no damn idea what they are looking at as a building goes up, and just process forms.

The wind clips that are being cited as the issue in the instant situation are merely the tip of the iceburg! A bigger question is the Durawall. Was it installed and if so was it installed properly? Wind clips aren't going to make a lot of difference if the Durawall isn't there. Contractors and masons hate Durawall, and there really isn't any was short of Xray to know if it is in place after the mortar cures.

This situation is a direct result of the "fast track" method employed by the GC on these jobs. The GC scams the job from design to finish, and the Archetect who is supposed to be looking out for the owner's best intrest is a captive of the GC. Hang on folks, this one is going to be expensive even if it doesn't turn out like the Chinese Schools did. 8/25/2008 3:45 AM

Anonymous said...
I believe he is referring to horizontal reinforcing within masonry walls. This is a ladder type wire that is placed in joints every 24 inches or so. Dur-O-Wall is a manufucturer of this type of reinforcing, not a spec. 8/25/2008 10:02 AM

WILL OUR SCHOOLS BE SAFE??

Saturday, August 23, 2008

GCSD Email Updating Media On Repairs: Officials* Unavailable To Comment

"It's moving along just as we had hoped. We're still very much planning for all the other schools (except Longridge) to be ready to go by the time school starts." ~~ BOE VP, Pat Tydings

HOW DID DEFICIENCIES GET OVERLOOKED?
"We do not have the answer to that yet ... The (financial) burden should be borne by those who made the error to start with."" ~~ Roger Boily, BOE

STORY

* (Apparently, the board VP and past president aren't considered "officials.")

Olympia Among Schools Violating State Rules On Football Practice

Pads, Shields, Blocking Devices Not Permitted During First Days Of Practice

STORY

Friday, August 22, 2008

GCSD: FIVE MORE BUILDINGS HAVE DEFICIENCIES

UPDATE ON BUILDING REPAIRS (From GCSD Website)

Wind clips found missing in:
Multipurpose room and library at Buckman Heights Elementary School
Gym at Craig Hill Elementary School
Classroom addition at Olympia HS
Multipurpose room at Holmes Road Elementary School
Music suite at Odyssey Academy

Wind clips installed:
Autumn Lane
Brookside
English Village
Lakeshore
Parkland
"Those buildings have been OK’d for occupancy as only minor cosmetic work remains. Crews have also begun repairs at Arcadia, Kirk Road, and Longridge."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ANOTHER COVER-UP? ROOF COLLAPSE AT ARCADIA IN JUNE!?

Anonymous said...
Speaking of things that never get to the board, I'd bet the farm that they were never told about the roof collapse at Arcadia during the last week of school in June.

That's a fact. I and many others heard and saw it. Fortunately, it was in a store room and not a class room. How about it, Julia and Board, did you know? It collapsed on a bright sunny windless day.

Wake up people before its too late. Call your board members and demand answers to this and other recently discovered problems with our buildings. Your kids safety is at stake. 8/21/2008 4:36 PM

LOEWKE & BRILL REPORT FOUND; FOIL REQUESTS DENIED

Joe Moscato said...
The Loewke & Brill consultants report has mysteriously been found. This is the report Frank Oberg asked about at last Monday's meeting. At that time, Achromovitch denied knowledge of its existence and had never read it.

For the record, this report was commissioned by Dr. Kehoe in March of 2006. Its intent was to study and evaluate the 2001 CIP. They were to identify what work, if any, still remained to be completed and to evaluate to overall workmanship of the project.

I have determined that the report was received in late August 2006 by Dick Dohr, Director of Facilities and Planning. He, in turn, passed it on to Bob Schroeder in the Business and Finance Department in October of 2006. The problem arises at this point as neither Dr. Kehoe or the Board were notified of its arrival, existence and the facts contained therein.

Now after two years it has emerged and is available, or so I thought. Come to find out my FOIL request as well as media requests have been denied until lawyer Ed Hourlihan has a chance to review its content for possible redaction of some of the findings.

Two board members read it before it was sequestered and one was so upset after reading two of the fourteen volumes that he had seen enough relating to the shoddy, error-prone workmanship and safety issues revealed in the report.

I will have to wait two more weeks while the district figures out a way to explain a few things: Why was the report buried? By whom? What did it contain and what steps have been taken over the past two years to correct the mistakes and omissions by the general contractor? 8/21/2008 2:50 PM

LET THE COVER-UP BEGIN!!

FIVE Schools Still Not Evaluated For Architectural Integrity

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE??
DISTRICT'S RESPONSE CREATES
MORE QUESTIONS THAN
THEY HAVE ANSWERED!!

From GCSD Website:
School Repair Underway; Most Will Be Done Before School Starts

Work has begun to repair walls at eight Greece Central school buildings. On August 18, the Board of Education passed a resolution authorizing Bernier Carr (When was there discussion to choose this firm over any other?)* to oversee the repairs and investigate the cause of the problems.

Earlier this year (Exactly how long ago? Why wasn't this made public until last week? Why wasn't work started sooner?)*, cracks were discovered (Discovered by whom?)* in a Longridge Elementary School gym wall. District leaders (Who was this? The Supt? The BOE?)* brought in Cornell University Civil Engineering Professor Paul Carr (Who chose him and when? Did the BOE know this at the time?)* to assess the structural condition of spaces built during the Capital Improvement Project. Dr. Carr (Did he respond with a low bid for this work?)* determined that proper wind restraints were not installed on walls at several schools and lintels (beams over a window or door opening that support the wall above) were not properly installed at some buildings. (Was the CIP contractor contacted?)*

Effected areas include gymnasiums at Longridge, Kirk Road, English Village, Brookside, and Lakeshore elementary schools, as well as the music room at Autumn Lane Elementary School, the library at Parkland Elementary School, and the two-story addition at Arcadia High School.

LeChase Construction will do much of the repair work under warranty (Just how long does this warranty provide coverage for?)*. Superintendent Steve Achramovitch said the work should be complete at all the schools except Longridge before the start of the new school year (How does he know this is accurate if five buildings still remain to be evaluated?)* on Thursday, September 4. Work at Longridge is slated to be complete by September 19. (What happens if it isn't?)*

Capital Improvement Project work associated with Buckman Heights, Craig Hill, and Holmes Road elementary schools as well as Odyssey Academy and Olympia High School is still under review (Why is it taking so long at these buildings?)* . The district will announce the outcome of these investigations as soon as information is available. (When was Athena Performing Arts Center evaluated?)*

* ~~ SCATS Asks :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

WHY WERE DISTRICT EMPLOYEES ORDERED TO DO CONTRACTORS' WORK??

Anonymous said...
To Joe:
The report your talking about was received by the Department of Facilities and Planning during the summer break in 2006.
I worked in that department at the time. Shortly after the report came in we were directed to do some jobs that should've been done by the contractors. When we questioned it, we were told to do it and keep our mouths shut.
I couldn't leave this corupt district soon enough. 8/19/2008 4:45 PM

SCATS WONDERS: WHAT ARE WE COVERING UP?? WHO ARE WE COVERING FOR??

14 Volume Report On CIP Gathers Dust

Oberg Questions Achramovitch On Dispensation Of Loewke & Brill's Report On CIP Findings Completed At End Of Kehoe's Reign In 2006

Achramovitch: "I haven't read it."

Scats Asks: Mr. Superintendent, why haven't YOU cracked the cover of this report in light of a scathing audit and crumbling architecture?? Mr. Boily, did YOU read it as BOE President? Is ANYONE paying attention to what's happening in GCSD??

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forensic Engineer Describes To BOE Deficiencies At 8 Schools

4 More Slated For Inspection Tomorrow

With Attorney's Help,
BOE Recessed To Exec. Session
(They actually did it correctly this once!)
To Discuss Legalities, Possibilty Of Suing

Work on Greece schools may begin Tuesday

BOE voted unanimously to retain Bernier-Carr Assoc. to oversee the remediation work at a cost not to exceed $50,000
"We’re satisfied that something is being done that should have been done a while ago." ~~ Joe Moscato
“I am appalled at the degree and the magnitude of (problems) at these buildings.” ~~ Bev Strehle
MPNNow

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Longridge Defects Found In June; CO Rescinded BY NYSED

NYSED BLAMES CIP ARCHITECTS, THOMAS ASSOC.
"We have jurisdiction over these projects, but that does not make (the state Education Department) responsible for the design ... We do not design or redesign or take responsibility for the design of a project. The architect of record is responsible for that and it is their liability."~~ Carl Thurnau, engineer & director of facilities planning for NYSED

BOE KEPT IN DARK ABOUT TROUBLES
"Greece school board President Julia VanOrman said she was shocked to learn Tuesday night that the newly constructed parts of eight schools had been deemed unsafe." D&C STORY
"I'm just sickened by the possibility that something could have happened to so many children who are using those buildings every day. But thank God this was discovered now so we can protect our kids and staff." ~~ VanOrman

EMERGENCY BOE MEETING
MONDAY @ 5:30PM

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are Politics, Cronyism, Greed Factors in GCSD's Ongoing Troubles??

<< = == New Poll

Our Children Have Been Using Unsafe Buildings For Years!

WHAT'S NEXT??
HOW LONG HAS
DISTRICT OFFICE KNOWN??
IS ATHENA PERFORMING
ARTS CENTER SAFE TO USE??
The "Bad News" After-Taste
From CIP Just Keeps Coming!

"Our first priority is making sure our buildings are safe for our kids to occupy ...
We have hope that repairs can be completed by the start of school but (we) don't believe that will happen. We have asked the building principals to put alternate plans in place ... We are going to protect the district and make sure we incur no additional expenses." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch

D&C STORY

SCATS Asks ~~ Uhhmm Steve, isn't it a little late to make safety the FIRST priority when these buildings have been in use for years as-is?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

AS THE DISTRICT CRUMBLES ...

UPDATE ~~ PORTIONS OF 8 SCHOOLS CLOSED!!
WHEC TV 10 ~~ The Greece School District says it has closed portions of eight schools and it could affect the upcoming school year. An inspection found that proper wind restraints were not installed on walls in eight schools.
There are seven elementary schools affected: Longridge, Kirk Road, English Village and Brookside along with Lakeshore, Autumn Lane and Parkland. A portion of Arcadia High School is also affected.
Work to fix the problem areas has been approved but it might not be done before the school year begins. If that's the case those areas will stay closed until the work is completed.


From GCSD Website ~~Greece Central School District Board of Education will host a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, August 18 to discuss structural defects identified at several school buildings.
Earlier this year, cracks were discovered in a Longridge Elementary School gym wall. District leaders brought in Cornell University Civil Engineering Professor Paul Carr to assess the structural condition of spaces built during the Capital Improvement Project. Dr. Carr determined that proper wind restraints were not installed on walls at several schools. Effected areas include gymnasiums at Longridge, Kirk Road, English Village, Brookside, and Lakeshore elementary schools, as well as the music room at Autumn Lane Elementary School, the library at Parkland Elementary School, and the two-story addition at Arcadia High School.
The Board will discuss the necessary repairs Monday night so that work to secure the walls can be expedited. On Tuesday, the Board approved LeChase Construction to perform the necessary remedial work. The affected areas will not be used until the repairs are complete. Capital Improvement Project work associated with Buckman Heights, Craig Hill, and Holmes Road elementary schools as well as Odyssey Academy and Olympia High School is still under review.

SCATS Asks: WHAT ABOUT THE ATHENA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER? IS IT SAFE & UP TO STANDARDS??

EMERGENCY MEETING MONDAY @ 5:30 PM
DESIGN ERRORS & OMISSIONS,
DEFICIENT CONSTRUCTION
OF SHEAR WALLS IN SCHOOLS
OCCUPANCY HINGES UPON
CORRECTIVE ACTION
CAN SCHOOLS OPEN ON SCHEDULE?
LONGRIDGE NEEDS $101,000 REPAIR;
Kirk Road, Autumn Ln, Parkland, English Village, Lakeshore, Brookside, Arcadia Need Work;
District must look further at Buckman, Craig Hill, Holmes Rd. Odyssey & Olympia




Marathon Meeting Lasts Until Midnight, BOE Still Has Full Plate Ahead

BOE LOWERS TAXES

HIRES EFP GROUP FOR FORENSIC AUDIT ~~ "Today is the day to take action on this." ~~ Jeff Smith (HOW VERY PROFOUND!!) Details about audit's scope and the contract are on BoardDocs

Adopts Sports Eligibility Policy ~~ “This will help us help those students (who are struggling) meet their academic requirements.” ~~ BOE Prez (Allowing students to fail helps how??)

Some items the BOE tabled/delayed, etc. to future:
1 Transportation Committee ~~ Determining Their Charge Tabled to Sept.
2 Communications Committee ~~ Dissolved
3 Evaluation of BOE Goals ~~ Delayed to Sept.
4 Boe Goal Setting for 2008-09 ~~ Delayed to Sept.
5 School Uniforms ~~ Will not pursue
6 Open Enrollment/Signature/Neighborhood Schools ~~ Needs Answers to Questions
7 Sex Offender Policy ~~ TBD
8 Social Promotion ~~ Delayed discussion
9 Health Care for Former Supt. ~~ Tabled Until They Get Results of Forensic Audit
10 Excel Project Update ~~ Delayed
11 Field Trip Chaperones ~~ Delayed
12 School Safety ~~ Tabled to Sept.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BOE Meeting & Public Hearing TONIGHT!!

5:30PM ~~ Exec. Session ~~ Collective Bargaining
6:30PM ~~ Public Hearing ~~ Contract for Excellence
BOE Regular Meeting Immediately Follows

Monday, August 11, 2008

Greece's 4 Year Graduation Rates Decline In 2007

In June 2007, Greece Graduated ONLY 79% Of Its Students After 4 Years
This Was Down From 81% In 2006
NYSED Press Release
NYSED PowerPoint Link (on right side of first headline)

A Constructive Suggestion For The BOE

Anonymous said...
New business. Insist on an udated (typo ~~ updated?) fund balance prior to establishing the tax rate. And make the supereintendent's pay raise tied to the accuracy of that estimate. 8/11/2008 10:18 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2008

WARNING: Don't Expect BOE To Tackle "Old Business" Backlog

"Everything that's been put on the back burner, we're going to bring to the front burner and as a board, prioritize what we want to do in the coming year. There was so much happening (last year), it seemed like we were jumping from one crisis to the next. We're going to sit together as a board and decide what we want to focus on this year. Do we want a forensic audit? Do we want to look at schools of choice? Do we want to look at getting health insurance away from (former Superintendent of Schools Steven L.) Walts? Do we want to consider having kids wear uniforms?" ~~ Board Prez, VanOrman (Source: D&C)

SCATS ~~ So then, whatever things the previous BOE delayed acting upon could ALL be eliminated by how the new BOE votes on individual agenda topics Tuesday night? Is this how Julia defines "moving forward?"

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pump Prices Post Windfall In Sales Tax Revenues

Greece budgeted about $3 million in sales tax revenue for all of 2008; has more than $2.6 million through June !!

D&C STORY

Thursday, August 07, 2008

BOE Meeting Agenda Shows A Full Platter*

08/12/2008 Regular Meeting
6:30 pm: Contract for Excellence Public Hearing

Exec. Session ~~ 5:30 pm to discuss collective bargaining & the employment history of particular person(s)

Agenda Items Include:
BOARD REPORTS
Transportation Committee
Communication Committee
Finance Committee
Audit Committee
Evaluation of 2007-08 Board Goals
Setting of Board Goals for 2008-09

School Uniforms
Open Enrollment/Signature Schools/Schools Choice/Neighborhood Schools
Sex Offender Policy
Social Promotion
Health Care for Former Supt


SUPT. REPORTS
Establish 2008-09 Tax Levy (W/A)
EXCEL Project Update (O/I)
Forensic Audit (W/A)
Change Orders Format and Approval (W/A)
Emergency Projects (W/A)
Communications Committee Update (O/I)
Corrective Action Plan Payroll Examination


POLICY
Second Read Policy 5580 Whistle Blowing (W/A)
Second Read Policy 7640 Student Ind. Education Programs (W/A)
Second Policy 7421 Eligibility for Participation in Interscholastic Sports (W/A)
Second Read Policy 3510 Emergency Closing (W/A)
Second Read Policy 8261 Title I Parent Involvement (W/A)


* SCATS Is Impressed That They Actually Were Able To Keep Track Of This Much ... WOW!!!!


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

BOE Expected To Approve New Sports Eligibility Policy BUT ...

... Is It Really "STRICTER?"

"We believe this is a more academically rigorous policy than the one that has been in place." ~~ Ann Mitchell

"But the question is which is worse? Being able to play with a D average, or being able to play with failing grades and not graduating?" ~~ Gale O'Toole
D&C STORY

SCATS Says: What is WORSE is permitting students to play who are not succeeding in their CORE ACADEMICS where they ought be required to maintain a "C Average"

Anonymous said...
Aaahhh the Walts type pr/bs spin machine is back at Greece central.
Todays d+c 'Greece seeks stricter sports policy'Ann Mitchell says at one high school there were 34 students BARRED from play.
Under the 'new' policy 69 students would be AFFECTED.
This means 69 kids would have been playing with at least one F.
This is progress?
Good luck trying to monitor. Not to worry the pr/bs dept. will make it look good. 8/06/2008 9:06 AM

Monday, August 04, 2008

State Senate GOP To Tackle Property Tax Cap Issue

"We have to somehow or another in this atmosphere make it clear that we are still committed, even though we are putting in the cap, to robust funding for education." ~~ state Sen. James Alesi

D&C

SCATS Translation: WATCH YOUR WALLETS, FOLKS!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

GCSD Considers Audit Work Done ...

... Unless Comptroller's Review Of Correction Action Plan Brings Up Concerns

It will be TWO YEARS Before We Know If "Corrections" Were Effective

MPNNow

SCATS Asks: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE??

Friday, August 01, 2008

Can Anyone Meet This Challenge?

Anonymous said...
I'm sorry but some of you people live in a dream world.
Please tell me when this board has indicated there is a problem. Please be "specific" ----- come on, have you ANY indication this board is upset with test scores? social promotion? graduation rates?student conduct? ect. WELL????? please tell me when any of these type of issues was talked about PUBLICLY and more important WHEN did you hear 'the board' voice a concern to the super that they expected improvements by x date.
COME ON - SHOW SOMETHING 7/31/2008 5:59 PM

Anonymous said...
I wrote the 5:59 posting.
The biggest reason I wrote it is I am hoping I can be proven wrong.
As bad as this type of thing is there is a bigger fear - business being done in the back room.
Executive sessions done prior to a board meeting - all planned,all orchestrated.
Committee meeting with no posted agenda, meeting times, and no public input.
Again I hope I am proven wrong. 8/01/2008 8:02 AM