Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Board Member Paranoia, Big Fat White Lies ...

 
... And Other Eye-Opening Remarks

Last Tuesday's Greece School Board meeting was notable for several interesting remarks. One board member in particular revealed a lot of her personal views on a variety of subjects. Here's a few things we learned by listening carefully:
  • The Greece Central School District hasn't been following the laws for many years concerning when they are supposed to hold their annual reorganizational meetings. HOW MUCH DO WE SPEND ON LAWYERS EACH YEAR?
  • BOE member O'Toole is tired of coming from out-of-town to make it to BOE meetings. Other BOE members chimed in about this, too. SOLUTION: DON'T SERVE ON THE BOE  ... especially if it's such an inconvenience! No one twisted your arm. They can meet without you, too ;)
  • BOE member O'Toole didn't want to discuss the reasons behind changing meeting dates because of "people with bad thoughts" who might be listening. DO THE VOICES IN HER HEAD WARN HER ABOUT THE PEOPLE WITH BAD THOUGHTS??
  • BOE member O'Toole expressed frustration over postings to BLOGs (she reads SCATS!!) and about receiving so many anonymous letters about schools-of-choice, transportation costs & related issues. SOLUTION: GROW A SPINE AND BRING EQUITY TO ALL GREECE CENTRAL SCHOOLS and/or GET OFF THE BOE!
  • GREAT BIG FAT WHITE LIE #1 was finally revealed: For years, people who favor schools-of-choice who don't want the rest of the people to experience K-5 schools claimed we would have to expend a boatload of money retrofitting bathrooms, chalkboard heights, etc. if we changed the elementary schools from K-2/3-5 to a K-5 design. It turns out GCSD never retrofitted them when they changed configurations to the current set-up! IT WAS ALL A GREAT BIG FAT LIE & IT WAS PERPETUATED BY DISTRICT OFFICE!
  • GREAT BIG FAT LIE #2 was also revealed: "I don't think we are at risk of exceeding capacity." (regarding changing the elementary school configuration back to K-5.) TRANSLATION: GREECE CENTRAL HAS BEAUCOUP SPACE, JUST AS SCATS HAS CONTENDED ALL ALONG!
  • When the BOE & DO don't want to do something (like mess with schools-of-choice, fix busing, get a handle on the daycare mess), they create a litany of hurdles, roadblocks, things to spend money on so they don't have to make tough decisions or do the right thing.
SCHOOL CHOICE HEARING
TUESDAY JUNE 7th
6:30PM
OLYMPIA HS AUDITORIUM
SIGN-UP TO SPEAK STARTING AT 6PM

    19 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    So here's a note to any BOE who might be browsing theBLOG:

    1. Re-assign K-5 or K-6, Jr High and HS

    2. Prepare for downsizing two or three schools

    3. Eliminate the open busing that uses money that could be used for EDUCATIONAL programs.

    Anonymous said...

    To hell with the busing. Get rid of all of the Administration overload. We do not need all of these people. Stop paying Walt's health care and fight for it. When will the Greece public get involved with what their money is being spent on!!!!

    Anonymous said...

    Scats,

    I used to think that you were one of those people who see silent black helicopters around every corner and create a conspiracy theory for every action.

    My impression softened somewhat after listening to the BOE meeting last Tuesday.

    Every speaker I heard presented reason after reason that K-5 could not be done. The most ridiculous one was that schools would be forced to build additional gyms because of SED rules governing schools of certain size.

    Let's be clear. If schools now are PK-2 or 3-5, and we change thier configuration to K-5, I don't believe that the number of students at the school would increase. If we don't need the gym now then we won't need the gym after a reorganization. If the gym's are required by SED mandate, then they will be needed anyway, right? The thing that gets me thinking is that no one on the BOE even questioned the "requirement" that changing to K-5 would add a $500,000 expense for 4 schools (I think the speaker even included Pinebrook).

    I think all elementary schools should be k-5 and am extremely confused why the BOE and Administration are so dead-set against it.

    No one has defended the current system as being superior. They simply say it costs to much to switch, which appears to be proven false each time they "study" it.

    Anonymous said...

    Amen!

    Anonymous said...

    She does love to hear herself talk!

    Anonymous said...

    Just why is it a 5 year old kid who can get on and off the toilet at home needs a special minitoilet at school? Seems to me these educators don't know much about how kids work.

    Anonymous said...

    I believe there is more hard data to demonstrate the edcational value of a K-5 environment than there is to support schools of choice. Just look at the performance numbers within Greece. Case closed.

    Anonymous said...

    Odyssey has started to send robo-calls about the public hearing next week. They want to make sure they get all their parents out to speak. It will such a one sided hearing, why are they even bothering?

    Anonymous said...

    Odyssey people have been told to keep their mouths shut because the existance of their school is not an issue. In fact their school will soon be at the new location which is far better than where they are now. Apollo students will be attending Olympia if the plan goes through. The plan doesn't seem to have a downside. Odyssey gets the new building and can except more students and Apollo kids will get to go to a building for 7 years just like the other schools. We can retire an old building that has served us well.

    SCATS said...

    To 12:09PM ~~ The sibling rule IS at stake. I think it's amusing that Odyssey would want to takeover Apollo. Several years ago, that suggestion was made on this BLOG as a way to expand the school. The problem with this idea, a BIG problem no one has answered, not even O'Rourke himself is: If Odyssey takes over Apollo, how do you put 500+ additional students into Olympia HS? There isn't adequate space even though this assumes that 200 some Apollo students stay to go to Odyssey.

    Anonymous said...

    enrollment at arcadia high and middle has dropped by 300, athena high and middle by 300 and apollo-olympia dropped by 600 in real numbers in the last 10 years. It seems the buildings could house 1200 more students. So the 500 of which you speak could be handled by Olympia with a little tweaking.

    http://greeceschools.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2010-11EnrollmentProjections.pdf

    SCATS said...

    To 12:51PM ~~ I'm well aware of the enrollments. How do you think I knew that Olympia & Apollo combined have in excess of 1800 students this year? PLEASE tell us how you "tweak" the numbers to fit 1600 kids in at Olympia? You can't send them to Arcadia or Athena with elimination of secondary option.

    Anonymous said...

    Is secondary option eliminated for certain? If not they need to decide so that the parents of kids in 6th next fall going to a secondary option MS can make an informed choice as to stay in the option or go to homeschool.

    Anonymous said...

    The proposal of orourke was to move the apollo students to Olympia and assign some of those students to Athena or Arcadia. There is room.

    And just because you know it doesn't mean other readers of the blog know it. Or are you implying this is only a blog for you to communicate in a dialog with the readers who comment?
    If so then I did not know the purpose.

    Anonymous said...

    @ Scats @ 1:09

    You can if you re-draw the boundaries.

    SCATS said...

    To 1:36PM ~~ I don't think anything is certain which is why holding a "hearing" is a ridiculous next move by the BOE. Individual members keep asking O'Rourke questions like "How would we go about this? His response has been "That's for you as a group to decide. Remember the three questions ... What do we want to accomplish? How can we go about it? How will we know we were successful?" These BOE people haven't gor a clue!

    To 1:41PM ~~ I thought O'Rourke wanted to move Apollo to Olympia and then draw boundaries around each building so that 1/3 from each would attend Odyssey.

    To 3:06PM ~~ I believe Oberg asked THAT QUESTION to O'Rourke ... how to accomplish it. His response I covered in my first paragraph in this comment.

    Anonymous said...

    To scats at 4:01

    And the place for Odyssey would be the apollo building. The rest of the kids (minus the 1200 that would be at Odyssey on maiden lane) would be divided among the other three 6-12 buildings. Sounds like we all finally got it.
    Just wondering how the helicopter parents at Odyssey will like it when their enrollment rises from under 700 to 1200 on Maiden Lane. So much for their free of charge small private school. We will call it the "Odyssey Academy at Apollo". But it's for the kids. LOL

    SCATS said...

    To 4:46PM ~~ The problem is that the BOE has not said WHAT THEY WANT TO DO! All of this is merely conjecture.

    The subject of helicopters keeps coming up on here lately. I heard that the power went out in at least Greece schools yesterday. Odyssey & Apollo were two of them ;)

    Anonymous said...

    Just to throw another log on the fire of PK-2 vs K5 vs K6 0 Some Rochester schools are planning to move to K-8. Now that would eliminate the need for a sibling rule! How about all the kids going to one or two school (when the older ones go to HS)