Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Time GCSD Gets Serious About Non-Resident Students!

Rush-Henrietta ~~ removed more than 248 students from the books over residency since 2004-05 (almost 50/year!)

Greece ~~ Pvt. investigator has 14 open cases currently; of 43 total cases last year just 28 students removed from Greece schools over residency issues


"I don't know why kids from outside the district try to go to our schools." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch
D&C STORY

SCATS: Could someone buy Steve a clue!?!?
What's wrong with this picture: We're NY's 8th largest district, but remove a fraction of the students that R-H does in a year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Study Session Tuesday ~~ Supt's Goals


Exec. Session ~~ student discipline & the employment history of a particular person ~~ 5:15PM
Study Session ~~ 6:30PM

WHAT GOALS SHOULD THE SUPT. BE EXPECTED TO MEET?

SHOULD LONG-TERM GOALS BE IN HIS CONTRACT, OR JUST SHORT-TERM GOALS?

HOW DO WE MEASURE HIS PERFORMANCE?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Joke Just In Time For Thanksgiving ...

I bought my dog Sparky a parrot to keep her company. What a mistake!! The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. I tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else I could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

To make matters worse the Parrot began to attack Sparky verbally and physically, even dive bombing the beloved pooch.

Finally, I was fed up and I yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. I shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. So, in desperation, I threw up my hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that I'd hurt the parrot, I quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out onto my outstretched arms and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

I was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As I was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"...


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL :)

REMINDER ...

The BOE Meeting To Set the Supt's Goals Was Canceled So Sean McCabe Could Go Hunting!

SCATS: Happy hunting, Sean. Steve wants you to know he loves having no expectations ;)

Pignato's Colorful Record Discounted By Rahn?

RPD fired Pignato in 1997 for: 1 - revealing to a bar owner that undercover officers had targeted his establishment for surveillance and 2 - taking a transsexual to the birthday party of another officer and encouraging the individual to perform oral sex on the officer.

Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn hired Pignato in 2002 after a background check and psychological profile convinced officials he would be a good officer.

D&C STORY

Monday, November 24, 2008

Greece Police ~~ The Yin & Yan


8th Safest Community in America

"The members of the Greece Police Department work hard to provide for the safety and well being of our residents." ~~ Police Chief Merritt Rahn

D&C STORY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2nd Greece Cop In 3 Months Charged With Felony

"We don't hide things. We don't cover things up." ~~ Chief Merritt Rahn, GPD

News10NBC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SCATS: With their recent track record, are we safer if we don't call police?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Give Backs ~~ Should Supt Set The Tone For Rest of District?

Town Employees Forego Cars/Perks During Tough Economy

STORY

With so many unsettled contracts, what has supt. done to encourage unions to settle for less?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Signature School Applications Due December 12

GCSD Signature School brochures were mailed to all incoming kindergarten through fifth-grade students. The brochure provides information about each of the elementary Signature Schools and contains an application. Those interested in enrolling must complete the application and return it by December 12, 2008. Acceptance is on a space available basis. Families will be notified in February as to whether their child has been accepted to a Signature School or placed on a waiting list. For more information, please call 966-2473.

SCATS: When do parents receive notice regarding school-of-choice applications?

Brizard's Suspension Policy: IS IT "RACIST?"

Brizard Appears To Have The Backing Of His BOE

STORY

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is Imitation Really The Sincerest Form Of Flattery ?

I guess I should feel flattered, but I don't. Beware any email received from an address similar to the one SCATS uses. An imposter, or maybe a stalker, has cloned a very similar email address and used it to send email to the BOE.

UPDATE ~~
Anonymous said...
SCATS I assure you that at no point was this email address meant to be anything more than honorary. Given your response, I also assure you that it won't happen again. Sorry. 11/21/2008 9:44 AM

SCATS: THANK YOU

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Robo-Call Slams Robach

Dinner Hour Phone Call Urges Recipient To Call Robach's Office & Complain About His Inaction In Albany

SCATS: Who made these anonymous calls? Did you receive one?

Greece Cobras Seek Variance For Soccer Complex In Parma

They must prove that building the soccer complex is the only way they could realize a reasonable return on their investment ($1) in the land.

STORY

SCATS: I'll offer them $10 for the land :) Do I hear $12? Anyone??

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're Told Our Student Population Is Diverse

How Diverse Is Our Teaching Staff?
What Is GCSD Doing To Broaden It?

D&C Story Discusses Brighton's Initiative

From Our Email ...

A small group of Brighton residents have put up www.ASIBrighton.org a blog site concerned with the rapidly increasing property tax burden generated by our school district budgeting.

You may be interested in our blog site and some of the Posts.

Maybe there are ways that we can help each other. Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Editorial Claims Union Release Time is "Cost Effective"

"In my 30 years of negotiating local postal service contracts and being involved in three national negotiations, management has never tried, or even submitted a proposal, to curtail this item — because it is a cost- effective business decision."

D&C EDITORIAL

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Want fries wit dat?" ~~ "No, I just want correct change please!"

Sunday, on my way home from errands, I gave into my semi-annual yearning for a fastfood burger. I pulled into a McD's drive-thru to pick up a quick lunch on-the-go. I placed my order.

The voice from the microphone said, "That will be $4.21. Please pull up to the window."

I drove to the window and noticed the teen girl inside was wearing a hoodie from a Greece HS (Class of '08 it said, which school doesn't matter) along with her uniform to protect her from the gusting winds.

She opened the window. I gave her a twenty dollar bill and a penny. Immediately, her smile changed, first to a blank look, then to a frown. She set the penny aside and picked up a calculator. She punched some numbers. She punched more numbers. She entered something into the register and looked shocked. She walked over to get another somewhat older girl to come see what was on the register's screen.

The older girl punched more numbers, said something I couldn't hear then walked away. The window opened and the younger girl handed over my food and $15.79 in change for my purchase. The window closed and she walked away.

I sat there waiting to catch her attention when the older girl saw me and pointed towards me as she told the younger girl to look in my direction. They both returned to the window as they saw me shaking my head "No."

The window opens. I said, "I'm sorry, but the change is wrong. I gave you a twenty and a penny." I handed back the four pennies and said, "I'll trade you these for a nickle."

The older one said to the younger girl, "You didn't tell me you had the penny."

The younger girl responds, "I didn't think it mattered."

The older girl turns back to me and apologized, then explained that the younger girl was so flustered by the penny that she entered $20,000.00 into the register as the amount of cash taken.

Fortunately for McD's, this teen was incapable of giving change for a transaction such as that! Unfortunately for GCSD, this teen is a walking, talking advertisement for much that ails our schools.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

HOW CAN WE REACH SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS?

Anonymous said...
Is it possible to communicate directly with board members, rather than be filtered by the clerk? Does anyone know how to reach the president or vice president by e-mail, for instance? 11/15/2008 8:51 AM

SCATS: If anyone can provide us with their email addresses, we'd like to post them so these folks can be reached for business. We'd also like to know which BOE members are liaisons to which schools.
WHY ISN'T THIS INFO ON THE GCSD WEBSITE??

Friday, November 14, 2008

BOE Can Meet Safely At A-PAC*


Engineer Clears Facility
For 60MPH Winds,
85 MPH Gusts

Full Report Expected At Dec. 9th BOE Meeting

STORY

*SCATS: All our buildings should be able to endure "gale-force" winds ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PINE BROOK ENROLLMENT FALLS TO 554!

When Pine Brook School opened in 1993, the design capacity was for 625 students.

Last year, enrollment was 599 students for this building.

There are 45 fewer students this year making current enrollment 554.

Supt. Achramovitch says they have adjusted their class sizes to keep them in-line with the rest of the district.

That's a net loss of 71 slots!!

SCATS: FINALLY, WE NOW KNOW WHY THE WAITING LISTS NEVER GET ANY SHORTER!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GCSD Could Lose $3.8 Million In State Aid

2008-2009 EXECUTIVE DEFICIT REDUCTION ASSESSMENT PROPOSAL

Control Nazis Nip Community Input

The BOE voted AGAINST temporarily suspending policy that would have allowed former district administrator, Doug Skeet to speak at Residents Forum tonight

SCATS wishes to personally thank Frank Oberg for showing his true colors by casting his vote with the majority!

"You can't just break a contractual agreement with someone." ~~ VanOrman

Claims BOE can't halt Walts' health care

Forensic Audit ~~ "We want this done right and don't want a rush job." ~~ VanOrman

A-PAC Safety Also On Tonight's Agenda

D&C STORY

BOE MEETING 6:30PM

Monday, November 10, 2008

Music Teacher, Band Leader Arrested

Jeffrey Hoffman Charged
With Endangering the
Welfare of A Child

Taught At Craig Hill & Pine Brook Schools (D&C STORY)

Achramovitch's Statement:
“I can confirm that on Friday, November 7, a Greece teacher was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

On Thursday, November 6, the parents of a Greece student came to district officials with concerns about this teacher’s alleged inappropriate contact with their child. We immediately contacted Greece police and are cooperating fully with the Greece Police Department’s investigation.

The teacher was suspended with pay on Thursday, November 6 and the district will begin disciplinary proceedings immediately.

Student safety remains our utmost concern.”

GCSD OUT OF BOUNDS ON OPEN MEETING PROCEDURES

An earlier comment posted provided this link to an Advisory Opinion written by Robert Freeman (NY State Committee on Open Govt). In it, Freeman states: "I note that §103 of the Open Meetings Law provides that meetings of public bodies are open to the "general public." As such, any member of the public, whether a resident of the District or of another jurisdiction, would have the same right to attend. That being so, I do not believe that a member of the public can be required to identify himself or herself by name or by residence in order to attend a meeting of a public body. Further, since any person can attend, I do not believe that a public body could by rule limit the ability to speak to residents only."

(Our Town Board needs to read this opinion, too!)

In addition to Mr. Freeman's opinion, precedent has been set MANY TIMES in the past with outsiders who were given the chance to speak. Since this "policy change" hasn't been discussed in public as far as anyone is aware, we are forced to conclude that SOMEONE IS LYING. We are also forced to believe that one or more board members wish to silence Mr. Skeet, a longtime past employee of the district, because his discussion of the facts and statistics relative to school and district performance is just too damaging to their fairytale image of the Greece Central they pine for. You know, the one where Freedom of Speech and the US Constitution are meaningless because their erroneous policy says so.

SCATS: A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL LAWYERS WORKING FOR GREECE CENTRAL WHO WASTE OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS BY PERMITTING THE BOE TO WRITE POLICY THAT CONFLICTS WITH THE GUARANTEED BASIC FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS OF ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

FREE SPEECH BANNED IN GREECE CENTRAL!


SCATS:

Sunday November 9th 3:00 PM


We have reached a new low in Greece Central. Yes, it is true I have been banned from speaking at the BOE forums. I have been out of town since the last BOE meeting on Tue. Nov 4 2008. On Wed. Nov 5 2008 I called Lynne Armstrong to be placed on the list of speakers for the next BOE on Tue. Nov. 11 2008.

Lynne told me that I could no longer speak at the BOE meetings because I do not live in the Greece School District. I reminded Lynne that BOE President Julia, at each BOE meeting, always is asking for "Community" input, not resident input. Lynne responded with "Yes but the BOE has had a "discussion" about the BOE policy on "resident's" forum and I will not be able to speak because I am not a resident of Greece Central." Thus she could not put my name on the list of speakers for the next BOE meeting.

Now under the cover of "resident's forum" I am currently banned from speaking at BOE meetings. In recent times, Judy Braiman-Lipson, form Brighton, spoke to the BOE on the ill health effects associated with artificial turf fields. Non-resident Greece teachers have spoken at BOE forums, especially at budget times.

Sunday November 4:30 PM

I have currently found out that there was NO BOE discussion or BOE vote regarding community or resident participation at BOE forums. Thus someone or subgroup within Greece Central, not the collective BOE, has directed Lynne Armstrong to not allow Doug Skeet to speak at BOE meetings.

This issue will be further explored in the coming days.

Enjoy

Doug Skeet

BOE Meeting WEDNESDAY, 6:30PM**

Exec. Session at 5:30 pm to discuss contract negotiations & pending litigation

Supt's Reports
EXCEL Update
Report of Official School Opening Enrollment (Why did this take so long?)
School Improvement Team Update
Transportation Report
Senior Tax Exemption
CIP Update
Update on the Forensic Audit

Committee Reports
Finance Committee
Transportation Committee
Audit Committee
Community Faith Committee

Old Business
Former Supt's Health Care
Update on Town Hall meeting
Whistleblower Policy Update

Financial Oversight
Finance - Treasurer's Report & Budget Status Report
Resource Report
Extra Classroom Activity Funds - Qtrly Report
Change Orders Requiring Board Approval

Policy (2nd reading - all)
Policy 1332 Appointment & Duties of School District Treasurer
Policy 1335 Appointment & Duties of Internal Claims Auditor
Policy 5230 Acceptance of Gifts, Grants, & Bequests to the School District
Policy 5150 Contingency Budget
Policy 5410 Principles of Purchasing
Policy 5420 Competitive Bids & Quotations
Policy 5610 Insurance
Policy 5623 Instrument/Equipment Inventory
Policy 5670 Records Management
Policy 5320 Expenditures of School District Funds
Policy 5530 Petty Cash Funds

**At the request of several board members, all business not completed by 9:30PM will be tabled to several meetings in 2011 so that everyone can get home to watch "My Big Redneck Wedding" at 10PM (Ch. 62-CMTV)

Friday, November 07, 2008

CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN? YES, WE CAN ... ?

Anonymous said...
" ... I received emails back from both the NAACP & the ACLU over the last three days. Guess what, they both expressed what seemed to be a genuine interest in the information/statistics I sent them relating to WHO gets to attend our "lottery schools". In the ACLU email, the gentleman stated that he went as far as to look at the GCSD web site to see when/where the "lottery" was held, and he wrote, "It's either presently unavailable, or always unavailable as you suggested". I will keep you informed! 11/06/2008 9:17 PM

Anonymous said...
If there is anybody else that would like to drop an email to one/both of these groups, I would first suggest going to the following site (cut & paste to your browser):
https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/District.do?county=MONROE&district=260501060000&year=2007
You can use the statistics there as an accurate reference when writing those groups. It takes a little time, but if you write down some of the numbers from the demographic sections listed for each school (racial breakdown, eligibility for free or reduced lunches) and compare the "lottery" schools to the others, you would be amazed. Take those differences, plus the general educational performance differences (also available on that site), plus the behind closed doors "lottery", and these groups do take notice. My neighbor's cousin works along with an NAACP branch in Connecticut. I spoke to him by phone, and he said the more letters, phone calls & emails, generally the quicker the response. So again if you find time, just drop a quick line (to one/both of the groups) containing any of the numerous disparities between our public schools and our "lottery" schools. 11/06/2008 11:25 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Iron-Clad Control As GCSD's Dysfunction Grows

Anonymous said...
Censorship has once again reared its ugly head in Greece. I thought these tactics ended with the Walts-Phelan board. I was wrong.

Mr. Doug Skeets, a long-time Greece resident with over 30 years of service to the school district has been denied an opportunity to speak at any future public forums or public hearings. It is common knowledge that Doug splits time between here and Florida where he owns property. Now, he has been told that because he is not officially a Greece resident, he may not speak. This is a violation of the Open Meetings Law.

A school board need not hold a public forum. However, once they do, they cannot deny any citizen of this country an opportunity to be heard.

It looks like Achramovitch doesn't like Doug's facts and figures and wants to keep him from letting the public know the TRUE facts.

My friends, in two short years your school board has reverted to the Phelan-Walts style. Censorship is a denial of a citizen's right under the law and the Constitution, the right to petition government.Walts is back in the person of another Steve. Only in Greece would this outrage be allowed to happen again.

It has been said that "if there is one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn." This certainly applies to Julia's board. 11/06/2008 3:09 PM

"Control is the opposite of empowerment." ~~ Leading From The Sandbox

SCATS: Exerting control over everything possible is the outward dysfunctional, symptom of a system spiraling out-of-control from within.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

BOE Meeting Recap ...

Budget Hearing ~~
A handful lobbyied for Boy Scouts, technology/technicians, girls' softball at Olympia & tax breaks for senior citizens.

MEETINGS/SUPT's GOALS ~~
Tydings requested they adjourn by 9PM so they can go home to watch the election results, despite all the discussion they had at the previous meeting about the need to "move forward" with setting the Supt's Goals. Guess what happened? Around 8:45PM, they finally got to that portion of the agenda, BUT decided not to start because 9PM was nearing. Since they removed a meeting from their calendar in late Nov. so McCabe can go hunting, they are adding a meeting in Dec. to begin setting Steve's goals. Let's hope VanOrman doesn't find out her hair and manicure appointment conflicts with that meeting, or the Supt. will have NO GOALS again!

SPORTS ELIGIBILITY POLICY ~~
Once again, our BOE caved-in to whining student athletes who aren't meeting the standards set in the newly enacted policy that was supported by AD's, athletes and parents. The BOE wants the Supt. to revisit the regulations he wrote to expand how we define the exceptions that are potentially "non-extreme." They already watered down eligibility by going to 3 F's as the new line-in-the-sand for determining eligibility. Now we are going to open Pandora's Box by allowing more exceptions. God forbid we should place academics ABOVE athletics in Greece! Smith fully endorses the softening of the requirements, no surprise there!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

VOTE TODAY, SPEAK YOUR MIND TONIGHT!

POLLS OPEN 6AM to 9PM

BUDGET PRE-HEARING 6:30PM
Sign-up at 6PM

SCATS: If someone could summarize the meeting for us, we'd be MOST appreciative :) (It's one of those rare times when I can't get anyone to listen in & take notes, so please help)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Transportation/Busstop Changes Didn't Last Even 2 Months

Anonymous said...
I will be interested in seeing if the savings on bus stops is being realized. I believe it was around $800,000.In the last 2 weeks I have seen kids getting picked up and dropped off at their door. That wasn't happening before.Then yesterday I was behind a stopped bus (along with 2 other cars) waiting for a kid to come out of the house - no kid - the bus went on. I thought they were to be at the stop 10 minutes before - if so WHY was the bus stopped?I bring this up because if this is how administration and the board keeps their word - then we're doing business just like Walts and that board did and boy are we in for trouble.I was hoping this might be an isolated case but since have talked to others who are seeing similar situations. 11/01/2008 7:21 PM

Anonymous said...
You are both right. We were in the car on Thursday am and had to wait for a regular bus while it stopped at a house and waited for the child to then emerge from the house and run to the street and be crossed. curb service as usual. it was not cold that day but the children are obviously being told to wait inside until they see the bus.Also there was a policy that said that a bus could not let children off until they saw they were let into a house. How can they do that if the stop is not to the door? new policy? Are 5 through 8 year olds just let off in the afternoon to walk home and possibly not get into the house?
11/02/2008 1:14 AM

SCATS: It sounds like we're back to business as usual!

Thomas Assoc Blames Christa For A-PAC/CIP Defects

CLAIMS A-PAC WASN'T BUILT ACCORDING TO THE PLANS THEY PROVIDED
Says District & Christa Both Were Warned Of Deficiencies During Construction

"But we have not proceeded in this remediation effort to blame anybody. What we are looking for is to know what the problems are and to fix the problems." ~~ Supt. Achramovitch

D&C STORY

SCATS: Right Steve! Let's NOT find out who ripped- off GCSD since YOU weren't here at the time!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pre-Budget Hearing Tuesday @ 6:30PM

You'll have to endure yet another District Office "presentation" BEFORE you get to speak though. This means 7PM is a more likely time for getting to use the podium to have your say!

Supt's Goals also on the agenda