Saturday, April 17, 2010

If You Thought Bussing To Schools-of-Choice Was Pricey ...

  
... I wonder how much GCSD planned to spend to retrieve the stranded Greece Athena Show Choir from Toronto?

TV news on Thursday reported that the group had been stranded in Toronto since WEDNESDAY, because their flight to Greece (the country) was canceled due to volcanic ash. This morning's D&C reports they might make it to Greece on Sunday. The article then notes: "The rescheduling was unexpected: The Greece Central School District had already arranged to send buses to Toronto to pick up the kids and bring them back home."

SCATS ~~ Since I thought students paid ALL expenses related to travel on such extra-curricular trips, I'm wondering who approved these buses, when it was approved, at what cost, and where in the policy such situations are covered? Is this done for all students, or just for "special groups?"

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Board notes state the finance committee is (still?) working with transportion on bussing costs?

This subject is turning into a long term career!

It seems bussing costs and options is a question that never has any answers!

Anonymous said...

Rana gets what Rana wants! And hubby (storefront version?) holds the secrets to the kingdom!

Anonymous said...

@8:55 are you saying that the husband what is colloquially referred to as a "beard" or the other way around.

Surely not in straight laced (but not straight faced) Greece?

Anonymous said...

And there are a lot of "co-beard" situations in the school district. Some have moved. Enough said.

And on the straight news today, that spa owner was given a sweet deal because of the clientele he was protecting. Small price for them to pay for his silence.

Anonymous said...

What is the town digging for behind the north intersection of Luddington and Crosby? There is a steady convoy of town dump trucks picking up dirt there and traveling back to Long Pond,Latta and then north on Kirk to dump the fill at the new housing 2 streets north of the entrance to kirk rd school. Let us hope that the builder is paying for this use of our trucks and fuel and overtime...Saturday.
And what are they creating back there at Crosby? A retention pond?
There is an enormous mountain of dirt at Crosby and Luddington that they have built up and are taking away for that builder. The streets of crosby, long pond, latta and kirk will need to be cleaned from the dirt path.

SCATS said...

To 12:22PM ~~ Try calling Supervisor Auberger's office and asking him. Oh wait. He won't remember ... nevermind!

Anonymous said...

It looks like they are raising the level of the elevation for the homes being built there on Kirk. That does not bode well for the dry basements of the existing homes on the west side of Kirk to the north. So much for the building department and planning looking out for the residents and property owners of Greece.

SCATS said...

To 1:27PM ~~ Maybe someone who is especially important (and connected?) is building a home there ;)

Anonymous said...

If SCATS had children stranded in Toronto, he would feel differently. True colors showing, eh?

Anonymous said...

Who is John Auberger?
I forgot (wishful thinking)

Anonymous said...

3;46 If I had kids stranded...oh wait I read the news and knew there would be no airplanes flying through Europe and therefore my child would not be able to go. Those singers will not be able to go to Greece ( the country) unless they take a boat and train. And the parents of those children should carpool up to Toronto (road trip!!!) to retrieve the stranded group. It is their responsibility.
Maybe the board will think once before they approve another overseas trip. ( I didn't say twice because they never even think once...ever)

SCATS said...

To 3:46PM ~~ You've missed the point. These kids did NOT arrive in Toronto by a Greece school bus and there ARE other ways for them to get back home. They paid their way up there using other means. Why shouldn't they be expected to pay their way back home, too? Times are tough, remember? The BOE just finished p*ssing & moaning about how they cut so much out of a budget that they can't cut anything more so we, the taxpayers, will have to pony up and pay for a 7.61% increase. Let these kids take a plane, a train or a Greyhound bus out of their own pockets ;)

By the way, when the BOE approves these trips, they usually approve them because GCSD IS NOT PAYING TO TRANSPORT THEM and they have minimal impact on the budget (unless a sub is needed which is specified BEFORE they approve the trip).

To 4:08PM ~~ I wish I could forget who he was, too!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the kids at the catholic school (same article) had to suck it up and come home but the greece public school trip was able to stay in a hotel to await the final outcome of the volcano.
Cruise of the Greek Isles. Is that educational for singers?
And you realize the busses that were poised to take the kids home were not yellow school busses but commercial busses. Yellow school busses cannot do that type of trip for so many reasons. On short notice that could cost a fortune. And it still could. Since the cruise waited that means the whole trip will be extended by at least 3 days. Lots of substitute teachers. Hope the parent chaperones are prepared to have time docked from their pay since they have no substitutes. Nothing is too much to keep the show choir diva happy.
Can't wait to see what happens.
But it will all work out because the children will probably do a little show in Toronto for extra cash.

Anonymous said...

What were their transportation plans back from the airport, assuming the trip had gone as planned? I realize that I'm guessing they were returning to Toronto following their trip, but I'm curious. If in fact they were returning via Toronto, I imagine they had pre-paid bussing arranged for the ride back to Greece. If so, it would be safe to assume they will no get a refund for those unused tickets. Mean while we flip the bill, and they ride for free.

Anonymous said...

sorry, "NOW get a refund"

Anonymous said...

It's not looking good for a Sunday flight out either. I just heard on the news that most European countries are scheduling nothing before Monday at the earliest, but still subject to be later depending on the volcano.

Anonymous said...

Ontario schools especially in he GTA region are pretty good Maybe they should stay for awhile and get an education

Universal health care too

Anonymous said...

I can't help wondering what First Degree Idiot put the kids on a plane to Toronto for the first leg of this trip.

Evidently GCSD MisAdministration is located in a subbasement room below the Performing Art Fiasco and cut off from any and all incoming TV signals or radio signals.

Just what kind of damn fool sends kids to Toronto without being certain the connecting flight to Europe will be leaving? Just more of GCSD head fully inserted in rectum thinking I guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, it is all so tidy. Their own poor planning put them in harms' way so their own resources should be used to get them out.

The next time that circumstances beyond your direct control strand you far from home be certain to refuse all assistance offered by others.

SCATS said...

To 9:02PM ~~ Re: "The next time that circumstances beyond your direct control strand you far from home be certain to refuse all assistance offered by others."

I've never been offered TAXPAYER-FUNDED assistance when stranded on a vacation, have you?

Anonymous said...

Who pays for the coast guard to rescue stranded boaters?

Who pays for rescued skiers?

Who pays for... oh never mind.

Why don't you just come out and say it, SCATS? The children in the Greece community simply aren't worth it.

It's the "self loathing" that has been mentioned so many times before.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. In fact because of delays in Rochester airport due to weather, a friend was late getting to the departure of a cruise to pacific islands about 5 years ago. She was not offered anything as a refund since it was her responsibility to get there. If those students do not get to the cruise they have paid for already they will be out of luck for a refund. They are lucky the cruise delayed because so many others were late. The situation looks bleak for a happy outcome for them. They may get a credit for a future cruise.

There is the possibility that the district is liable for any harm to the students during this school sponsored luxury cruise....it is so absurd students on a cruise.... and bringing them back from toronto is the only solution.
The superintendent would be wise to order them back right now considering that they could be stranded yet again in europe. But if he did that, besides growing a spine, the little darlings parents would sue him for the cost of the rest of the trip.

SCATS said...

To 9:31AM ~~ When it comes to self-loathing, perhaps you should look in the mirror! Your words sound very angry. You've ramped-up the topic from getting home from a fun trip to Greece on Spring break to life-saving rescues of people who might otherwise drown. In the case of the Show Choir, they flew to Toronto and they had some planned way to return home. Let them negotiate it with the airlines just like YOU or I would have to do ;)

Anonymous said...

These students are not dying on a mountainside or in danger of drowning. They are at this point just inconvenienced. To compare the "rescue busses" to a coast guard rescue or ski patrol rescue is to minimize the importance of those brave people.

Anonymous said...

To scats from 9:40 I was agreeing with you. Definitely not agreeing with 9:41 who somehow snuck in there between posts. These children do not need heroic measures to bring them back to greece NY. That could be different if they continue their journey with all the trouble the volcano is causing.

SCATS said...

To 9:49AM ~~ Thank you for clarifying that :) While I was responding, you were too, so things got a bit jumbled based on when each of us hit the "publish" button (posts appear based upon the time stamp).

Anonymous said...

That should be "not agreeing with" 9:31.
Hmmm so if we think those parents should be responsible for the solution we are lowering the worth of all students in greece NY. That is not a logical conclusion.
The students of Greece are worth it, which is why this blog exists. They deserve an education. All of them deserve the same opportunities. When much of the time and effort and money is expended on a few of the master race of athletes and performing artists there is the possibility that the rest of the students will miss out on their educational needs.
This reaction to crisis is an example of that skewed effort.
These kids could have been home for spring break doing chores, volunteering, extra time at job, and spending time with friends and family for free. If that were the case we would not be worried about them. A completely unnecessary and exorbitant trip.

SCATS said...

To 10:23AM ~~ You've raised an interesting point that some people have raised repeatedly on here: Where are the parents? Let them get involved. Let them go retrieve their little darlings. It's not that far away. They gave permission to let them go on the trip but that shouldn't absolve them of all responsibility.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that there are about 15 parents on this trip with these kids

SCATS said...

To 3:14PM ~~ SERIOUSLY?? Isn't that close to one adult for every 2-3 students then? Sounds like a very popular trip! And one where the Greece taxpayers definitely should NOT be asked to foot the bill for the bus ride home ;) Let them carpool with rentals and drive back!

SCATS said...

UPDATE!

The D&C reports that: "The Greece Athena students traveled from Toronto to Atlanta, then on to Athens, Greece, today, said Show Choir director Judith A. Ranaletta."

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20100418/NEWS01/100418011/Greece-Athena-show-choir-to-cruise-Greek-Isles-after-all

Our tax $$ has been spared ... this time ...

Anonymous said...

SCATS forgets his own thread-drivers. Your point was, "I've never been offered TAXPAYER-FUNDED assistance when stranded on a vacation, have you?"

My post cited two examples of taxpayer assistance when generally "stranded on vacation."

Here's a less-than-life-threatening example: Prior to cell phones being so prevalent, police officers would offer similar assistance with regularity (and yes, I've been the recipient of same).

Of course, you will try to neutralize my point by saying something like, "Yeah but Greece police didn't dispatch a shuttle to Toronto to help you." That will be your way of exiting your heartless position with self-dignity.

As it turns out, it's a non-issue. They're off to their destination after all. SCATS simply did a good job of fanning imaginary flames in a successful attempt at keeping the community commenting on his blog.

Say "hi" to Jerry (Springer) for us when you see him.

Anonymous said...

I love it when SCATS hits one home and strikes the nerve of these prima donna parents!

SCATS said...

To 6:47PM ~~ You are in the minority on this one based on the other comments left here.

I don't have to neutralize your point. You do it very well by yourself when you use dissimilar situations to try to make your point. There is nothing life-threatening about being inconvenienced by a change in travel arrangements when headed out for a CRUISE that most of us will never afford or enjoy. Yes, I said INCONVENMIENCED, because that is what they experienced, nothing more.

Police officers may have offered to make a call for a person in need, but you are correct that they don't go across the border to bring them home.

Time will tell if it's a "nonissue" since we don't know if they will get stranded in Greece. On tonight's news, it was reported that the plume of ash & smoke was further south than it had been previously and was now impacting as far south as Italy. Maybe they can enjoy Greece until Fall ;)

SCATS said...

To 7:41PM ~~ Why thank you :)

Anonymous said...

re 6:47 - The only thing "imaginary" here is the wind you tried to make howl. Scats was absolutely correct about dissimilar examples. On a test where you are given your two examples and then the show choir issue, the one that does not belong is the show choir's.

Anonymous said...

Is there someone along on this trip who can be relied upon to report any drinking of alcohol that might occurr? Is there a copulation monitor as well to pass out protection?

Oddly I'm sensing a pattern here, lets see, $100,000 piano living in climate controlled luxury; Trip to the Greek Isles for a select group, is the Board confused between Athena and Athens Central?

How many taxpayer dollars were spent on this project?

Are teachers along for the ride, and are they being paid as chaperones?

Just how in Blue Hell is this a high school level activity?

Anonymous said...

Just as the reality of the general publics' opinion and those posted on the SCATS blog are dis-similar. Got it. Being in the minority here ain't such a bad thing. Thanks for the lesson.

By the way, it's a non-issue because the basic premise of Greece "sending buses" to Toronto turned out to be a nonstarter. Additionally, Greece NY won't send buses to Greece (EU) - come-on, try to keep up.

Next headline on the SCAT Springer board, "Greece Schools Readies Private Planes to Rescue Show Choir". Let the indignation begin.

SCATS said...

To 6:59AM ~~ Actually, it is YOU needs to TRYto keep up. They can't send planes because flying through ash IS the problem ;)

The next headline, should GCSD need to rescue the diva wannabes, would be about sending a private yacht or ship ;)

I'm glad to know I'm such a threat that you have THE NEED to monitor this BLOG !

SCATS said...

UPDATE #2 ~~ Regarding the poor and suffering "stranded" Show Choir who deserved taxpayer assisted rescuing ~~ YNN posted an update on the story including this quote from Judith Ranaletta: "Fame has been absolutely wonderful. They then put us up for two more nights in a Marriott, paid for our meals, entertained the kids, took them to a playdium in Toronto, which is a huge video game, the whole nine yards."

YNN also reports that there are 19 students AND 11 chaperones on this trip!

http://rochester.ynn.com/content/top_stories/502166/ash-filled-skies-aren-t-clouding-students--experience/

Anonymous said...

Apparently this cruise is a floating vocal competition. The TV news last night explained that. The other schools in greece NY send their kids on buses to maryland or toronto for music competitions but this group gets to perform at sea. The judges are probably Americans that are getting paid for this cruise and to judge. Nice gig. Unless of course there are certain judges from Greece the country that are needed to critique the Athena group.
The 2 to one ratio of chaperones to students is hilarious.
And who are the donors of the extra nights in Toronto hotel and video world experience?

SCATS said...

To 10:30AM ~~ I heard they would perform on the cruise, but I didn't hear that it was a competition, until now. Regarding the number of chaperones - as soon as I saw the numbers, I envisioned each chaperone holding hands with two show choir members, one on each side. The "extra" chaperone got stuck with the luggage! lol

Anonymous said...

They call it a "competition" but it is just like the NYSSMA auditions (love boat style) that the kids do twice a year as soloists. And once a year the high schools send the groups on trips for auditions as a band or chorus. They are marked and critiqued and come back with trophies gold silver etc. And they may be seen as competing with the schools that are there at the same time as they are. Can anyone find out the name of the organization that owns this franchise of music competitions? It would be interesting if it was only Americans involved and it was an excuse to do a free vacation for the teachers and judges.
The story of natallee holloway on her spring break and those poor honeymooners that were lost on cruises comes to mind. No matter how many chaperones you have, it is an unwieldy task to monitor young people, especially on a ship.

Anonymous said...

LONDON (AFP) – Britain sent in the navy as governments mobilised Monday to help hundreds of thousands of stranded passengers and airlines demanded a lifting of the air embargo triggered by Iceland's volcano.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/icelandvolcanoaviation

GREECE (NY) - By popular consensus on a tabloid-style Internet blog "serving" the Greece community, it was determined that it would have been best to leave a couple of dozen students and chaperons in Toronto to fend for themselves.

SCATS said...

To 12:33PM ~~ Alas, you left out the MOST IMPORTANT LINE of that article where it explains: "Under pressure to assist its nationals, Britain ordered its navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and HMS Ocean and HMS Albion to pick up thousands of Britons from France -- where they have come from all over Europe -- and Spain." Since flights from Toronto to Rochester are not canceled, the kids in Toronto had other options for arriving back in Rochester. I'm pretty sure Greyhound or Amtrak or car rentals were also available, but we do realize these prima donnas wouldn't want to lower themselves to traveling like commoners ;)

Anonymous said...

Here is a geography lesson for the UPI writer.....Great Britain is an island.
Although there is Lake Ontario between Rochester and Toronto there is still the possiblity of slowly and safely driving from Toronto back to Rochester. We did not have to call in the Seals or the Coast Guard or the Navy to sail them across the lake. Toronto is not an island.
And the children and the half chaperone per child were not stranded without a way to return to home. Britons in europe could not get back to their homes in great britain except by air or sea. Hence the NAVY would be needed to save them.

SCATS said...

To 12:55PM ~~ Thank you! I'm getting the impression that 12:33PM might be a Greece graduate ... awfully slow ;)