Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teachers Union Suing State To Stop Evaluations

  
NYSUT Sues  Regents over new teacher evaluation option

Claims education officials violated the law when school districts were allowed to assign significantly more weight to state assessments in their annual teacher reviews.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Deja Vu For Meg?

  
Mysterious, closed door board meetings raise concerns over whether Clarkstown BOE are attempting to oust Keller-Cogan. (Source)

County Legislature Chairwoman Issues Letter Supporting Keller-Cogan

Clarkstown Central School distributes message alerting parents that two e-mails they may have received about two BOE candidates from "Clarkstown Integrity" had been unauthorized.

Police investigation of unauthorized email ends with Clarkstown Supt. & BOE Pres. issuing a statement

Petition Supporting Keller-Cogan Presented To BOE

SCATS ~~ Sounds like Clarkstown is becoming as dysfunctional as Greece! Methinks they need a BLOG ;)
 
  

Parents, Students Take Note ...

   
REGENTS EXAMS NO LONGER OFFERED IN JANUARY!

Regents exams will now only be offered in June and August.

“Students who attend summer school typically perform better on August Regents exams than those who do not. We want to make sure every student successfully passes the required five Regents exams and graduates on time with their class.” ~~ Barbara Tomasso, Exec. Dir. of Student Information Services & Shared Accountability

Parents interested in signing their high school students up for summer school can do so at the school their child attends. Call the high school counseling office for registration details.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Court Rules In Greece Cop's Favor

  
Schamerhorn moves closer to getting his rank back;
Appelate Court upholds arbitrator's decision reversing State Supreme Court Justice John Ark who had sided with the Town of Greece.

STORY

SCATS ~~ I can't fathom how this guy is capable of remaining employed inside of Chief Todd's "cleaned up" police department! It makes no sense, does it Auggie?
   

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Babs ... Here's What You Need To Know About Greece ...

  
Later this week, you'll be arriving to start work as our full-time Superintendent. Congrats on landing the job. We can only hope you understand what you've signed on for ... if not, here's some insight.

Our district and town are both led by overly-controlling, dysfunctional and politically connected groups. Members of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary and other special interests like the sports boosters or school-of-choice parents will eat you alive, should you do something ... anything ... to oppose them or their "causes."

The Board of Education will undermine you at every turn. In fact, they've begun doing so long before you've set foot in your new office. They've set the "hot topic" of School Choice on the back burner so you can "weigh in" on an issue that will cause you nothing but misery. You can't win, no matter what you do with this one. They know it too. They rather let you take credit (i.e. blame) for whatever happens than to have to make a decision themselves that upsets anyone. They are cowards through and through.

They've also begun hiring new faces at a feverish pace. Several building principals have been named. District office staffers ... some who will be YOUR cabinet members have been chosen, all without consulting YOU! In fact, you might find it interesting that they want you to "weigh-in" on School Choice, but not on who you will be stuck working with! See how they work ?

Don't look to GTA for any warmth either. If it's not in their contract, they won't do it. In fact, even if it is in their contract, you better keep watch ... they are not much better with doing their work than many of the students they supervise.

Soon you will learn that Greece schools aren't performing better because the parents are all self-absorbed, the kids are all on free/reduced lunches, the community doesn't "value education" and rejects budgets ... yada, yada, yada. What you will never hear is that the teachers are in any way responsible for the products of their labor. Please don't try to hold them accountable for anything. They are Teflon and to be revered, never ever criticised. Of course, you may ignore ALL of this if you are talking about Odyssey or Pinebrook, where every single day is magical ;) West Ridge is teetering on the edge of extinction, so they aren't too vocal about how wonderful they are ... unless you suggest doing what needs to be done: closing schools to get the budget under control. Then, they will come out in droves, cry into mics, beg if need be ... to keep you from doing the job that makes things "right" for the entire district.

Well that about sums it up, but I'm sure others will have some insights to share too, so please be sure to read the comments that accumulate inside. One last piece of advice: Don't EVER try to fire a coach for drinking on the job, even though his contract and handbook explicitly state it is forbidden ;)

Best wishes & welcome to Greece. You'll soon "Discover the Promise" just like those who came before you. You might want to hold off on buying a house for a few months ... in case you decide you don't like your new job.

SCATS
   

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS GREECE GRADS!!

   
   

You've survived 13 years of:

  • Budget "cuts"
  • GTA antics
  • Cafeteria food!
  • Buildings in disrepair
  • Political infighting among BOE members
  • Numerous changes in Superintendents
  • Fundraising for sports, music & PTA
  • Insufficient textbooks, classroom materials & equipment
SCATS ~~ The Greece Central School District deems you duly prepared to begin college by taking remedial English, High School Math, Basic Composition, Reading for Comprehension, Remedial Spelling ... well, you get the picture ;)
  

Friday, June 24, 2011

2% Property Tax Cap Passes NY Senate

   
The bill caps taxes at the lower of either the rate of inflation, or 2%. WHEC-TV
  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sr. Class Speaker Advises Students: "Fundraise"

  
Q. - What advice would you give to future seniors?

A. - Fundraise. Fundraise. Fundraise. Or else you will be forced to buy a senior ball ticket for $60 per person.

Athena HS Class Speaker Valerie Woedy (Greece Post 6/23/11 pg. 9A)

SCATS ~~ After 13 years in Greece Central, this is the most important piece of advice one of our district's "top students" has to pass along to those who follow after ?!  I guess that sums up our sad state of affairs rather nicely!
 

Sorry Cindy, SOC's Are NOT "Misunderstood"

  
Greece schools of choice are misunderstood

This is in response to the lady who wrote "Schools of choice costly, unnecessary" (June 18 letter): As a mother of two children who attend a school of choice, I can tell you they are not unnecessary, and we do, in fact, take responsibility for our choices. And they each do offer a specific program at each school.

I am tired of people putting down the schools of choice simply because their child didn't get in, or they chose their sector school.

I have no problem driving my children. And, yes, my sector school was not good enough for my children. My children have friends in our neighborhood who do not go to our school.

Next time you decide to put down a school of choice, know what you are talking about.

CINDY SADOWSKI (D&C Editorial)

SCATS ~~ The level of ignorance displayed on this topic by lottery "winners" is stunning!  
   

A Greece Central Forgotten Priority … Instruction!

   
On June 16, 2011 the D&C published an article with the 2010 suburban school district graduation rates. Sadly Greece Central has continued its slide to the bottom of the county rankings. For 2010, including summer school, Greece is ranked second from the bottom with an 85% graduation rate. Greece is ranked third from the bottom, without summer school, with an 82% graduation rate.

When Greece’s graduation rate (85%) is compared with “like” school districts, including summer school, Greece ranks in LAST place: Brockport 86%, Gates-Chili 85%, Hilton 89%, Rush-Henrietta 90%.

When Greece’s graduation rate (82%) is compared with “like” school districts, without summer school, Greece ranks second from the bottom: Brockport (81%), Gates-Chili (83%), Hilton (87%), Rush-Henrietta 88%.

Greece has ranked in last place in suburban Monroe Country, in such important instructional areas as math, reading and language arts. If the school district is in last place at the elementary and middle school level, it has to catch up in the high school level.

This graduation rate drop was so predicable. Approximately 10 years ago, Greece ranked 6th, 7th or 8th from the top of suburban Monroe County school districts. The blame goes directly to the very top leadership of Greece Central. Under the Greece Central Board of Education President Jerry Phelan and School Superintendent Steve Walts, Greece lost its way and forgot its primary function - Instruction. Under the reign of Phelan and Walts over 500 of 1100 experienced teachers resigned from Greece. To recover this valuable experience will take years.

Greece has lost its direction with many distractions including: implementing a failed new math program, teachers having to file EEOC complaints for protection, lifetime health and dental programs given away to Superintendent Walts, a flawed capital building project was implemented, a series of new superintendents, new Board of Education members with hidden agendas, the introduction and influence of the Greece Chamber of Commerce and the Greece Republican party under the leadership of Roger Boily. Add, in-fighting, on the Board of Education and you have the major factors in distracting educational leadership from their primary mission of successful instructional programs and thus student academic success.

The top three priorities for the new superintendent, Barbara Deane-Williams, have to be instruction, instruction and instruction. It is a crime for Greece Central students to have a substandard education. There has to be a focus on student education with measurable objectives, valid implementation plans, respected supervision, involved teachers, students and parents.

With the focused priority of all parties, for instruction, then maybe, just maybe, the next decade will return Greece Central to the prominent position it once held in Monroe County.

Sincerely,

Douglas G. Skeet, former Greece Central School Principal
   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Who Wants To Be BOE Pres. & VP?

  
The Most Likely Choices Are ...

Sean McCabe ~ He's been chomping at the bit to have his turn

Julia Van Orman ~ She loves the power!

Dave Ferington ~ God only knows why ...

Beth Race ~ Has high personal stake in the School Choice topic
 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Neighbors Oppose New Bryant & Stratton

  
They fear additional RTS buses bringing hundreds from outside of Greece to a new campus to be situated at the Long Pond & English Rds. site. (STORY)

"Bryant and Stratton starts at 8:15 a.m. and that will mean lots of cars and buses idling off to one side. We don't want to hear it, smell it or see it." ~~ Deborah Janowicz

"We've already got traffic congestion morning and night, from commuters and the buses from Greece Athena and Pine Brook." ~~ Butch Schubert

SCATS ~~ Welcome to Greece Deb! Where were you when the Town of Greece OK'd bringing those extra buses right up Dewey Ave. from the city to go shopping at our soon to be erected Walmart? It wasn't in your backyard, so you didn't care, right? Tsk, tsk, Butch! Don't you know that it's politically incorrect to complain about the number of GCSD buses you see. Don't YOU support school choice?
  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Resident Questions School Choice

   
Schools of choice costly, unnecessary

If parents in Greece Central School District choose not to send their child to their home school but rather to a school of choice, then they should take on some of the responsibility for their decision. Right now it is too easy, and if some of them actually had to do a little work for it they probably would not make the choice.

First, parents should have a valid reason to send their child to a different school, such as a specialized program that is not offered in your home school. The parents should be required to visit their child's home school and write a letter to the district explaining why the school does not fit their child's needs. In elementary school, children should go to their home school to help form friendships with kids in their neighborhood.

Second, if parents want to keep the system as it is now for schools of choice, then they should provide the transportation for their children. Sending a bus to one child in a neighborhood is a waste of money.

TIFFANY BOURGEOIS (D&C Editorial)
 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wasted Scholarships Languished For Years

   
Greece Board of Ed Dissolves Dormant Memorial Scholarships

Mark Flaherty Memorial ~ $2407.78 ~ No awards presented since 2000-01. Purpose was to present plaque to an Athena HS student each year as an award for technology.

Chris Fahy Memorial ~ $688.13 ~ No awards presented since 2000-01. Purpose was to raise funds to purchase a sign for the Buckman Hts. playground.

Bill Wilt Memorial ~ $571.58 ~ No awards presented since 2001-02. The purpose was to provide scholarships for students planning to pursue a career in physical education.

Heberle Disposal Scholarship ~ $5.61 ~ No awards presented since 2003-04. The purpose was to provide cash prizes for the "Environments, Recycling For Our Future" art competition.

SCATS ~~ Shame on the Greece Central School District!! The documentation states that the district has "been unsuccessful in contacting the families that initiated the respective scholarships due to the poor documentation on file." How can they be unable to locate Heberle Disposal? They pick-up my trash every week! Has anyone checked the phone book??

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Is The Rest Of This Story?

  
The D&C reports that the annual July 4th celebration at the Grace & Truth Sports Park is canceled this year due to a lack of volunteers.

Kathryn Firkins says: "They did contact us and told us that, unfortunately, circumstances with their volunteer base have been such that they aren't going to have the ability to do it this year."

Brenda L. Green, the celebration's executive director, confirmed the cancellation but said she couldn't discuss it further ~~ "I'm having a very hard time with this right now."

George Grace, senior pastor of First Bible Baptist Church, couldn't be reached to comment.

The Town Board pulled from their agenda plans to approve their $10,000 annual "contribution" to defray the expense of the fireworks which they justify "because a large number of Greece residents attended it."

SCATS ~~ Where was the call to get more volunteers from the community by either the church or the town? Is it legal for the Town to make such an annual "donation" to a church for a celebration that the Town should be holding anyway? Has some rift occurred between Auberger and Pastor Grace? It seems there is much more to this story ... as is usual in this closed, clubby & corrupt community.
 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PIGNATO DENIED PAROLE

  
13WHAM reports: "Parole board told him he continues to “minimize responsibility of your crime and exhibit limited insight into your dangerous behavior.”"

PAROLE BOARD HEARING TRANSCRIPT

 

Graduation Rates for 2010 Show District's Division

   
2006 Total Cohort - 4 Yr. Outcome as of Aug. 2010 ~~ Graduated w/Regents or Local Diploma

Arcadia HS ~~ 320 Students ~~ 86% ~~ 6% Drop-outs

Athena HS ~~ 327 Students ~~ 86% ~~ 7% Drop-outs

Olympia HS ~~ 334 Students ~~ 82% ~~ 9% Drop-outs

Odyssey  ~~ 116 Students ~~  97% ~~ 2% Drop-outs

SCATS ~~ Please don't tell me that Olympia's numbers aren't severely and negatively impacted by the fact that Odyssey draws off many of the better students who would otherwise be attending Olympia ;) Odyssey is the escape hatch for those fleeing Olympia's troubles and it has been that way for years!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PARENT LEAVES INSIGHTFUL COMMENT ON FACEBOOK (posted w/permission, bold added)

As a parent of a child who geographically would have attended Apollo middle and Olympia high schools, I have no problem admitting that is exactly the case. After researching all of the middle and high schools in Greece, I decided the best fit for my child was going to indeed be, Odyssey Academy. I had to apply, like everyone else that lives out of that area, for my child to go there. I made phone call after call to find out exactly when the applications for SOC would be mailed out while my child was still in the 5th grade at Longridge. It was mailed to me on a Friday, I promptly filled it out and faxed it to the school that same day. I received an acceptance letter less that 2 weeks later. Do I believe that he was chosen through a random lottery? Not so much, but he is an outstanding student and I feel his educational needs will be met at this school as opposed to the others in Greece. While I'm empathetic to other parents wanting the same opportunity for their child(ren), I will not apologize or feel badly for my child having it. Had he not been chosen for Odyssey, I would have moved out of the district in search of the best school and education for my child. Perhaps the district should be more diligent in their efforts to make sure only the children that are actual residents of Greece are attending some of these other schools. Maybe then the 'quality' of the other schools in Greece may improve.
 
Shelly Weaver-Reitz  
  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Buying Time" Might Cost Them During Fall Vote

  
"We're just not there yet ... By this motion I'm not putting it off indefinitely." ~~ Julia VanOrman, VP Greece BOE (6/14/11 - as the BOE removes the item from their agenda, causing it to evaporate into thin air as if it never existed)

SCATS ~~ Really, Julia? Just when do you plan to take care of this item then? I heard no suggested date or timeframe, just delay, delay, delay. Do you even know how to tell when you arrive "there"? I don't think you have a clue!

FACTS FROM LAST NIGHT'S MEETING:
  • 177 Students identified who are getting bus service that should be walking
  • $750,000  savings/year in transportation costs
  • 24 buses we do not need to buy IF we deal with School Choice issue
DON'T ASK US TO SUPPORT BUS/CAPITAL REPAIR PROPS UNTIL YOU HANDLE THE SCHOOL CHOICE QUESTION!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BOE REMOVES SOC ITEM FROM AGENDA

  
ALL NINE BOARD MEMBERS VOTED IN FAVOR OF REMOVING THE SCHOOL CHOICE ITEM FROM THE AGENDA!

Oberg commented that if the BOE acted, they could save GCSD:
  • $700,000+ on transportation costs
  • reduce new bus purchases by 24
SCATS ~~ An amazing, but not surprising, show of how predictably gutless all of them are!
  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oberg's Last Stand?

       
Will Mr. 'Chump Change' Attend
The Last Regular Board of Education
Meeting of His Term?

Or Will He Remain MIA Like He Was 
At Last Week's School Choice Hearing?
  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Speaking With Forked Tongues: SOC Yin & Yan

 
    Selfish, Self-Serving, Self-Centered ...

"Schools of choice don't cost more" ... "It's too expensive to offer all K-5 elementary schools."

"Don't fix what's not broken, fix what is" ... "Retaining schools-of-choice ensures the broken schools remain broken with higher numbers of minority/special ed students and students on free/reduced lunches, etc."

"SOC's are no better than the other schools" ... "Why do you want to close "the best schools" in the district?"

"You need to take what's working and do it at other schools" ... "You'll ruin Odyssey if you try to expand the program at Apollo!"

"SOCs are successful because of  involved parents" ... "The K-2/3-5 & 6-8/9/12 structure does not foster parental support, so I want choice."

"I don't see the opposition, where are they?" ... "SOCs are consistently the #1 district issue cited on exit polls and has been for many years."

"Why make a hasty decision when you need to gather more data?" ... "SOCs have been hotly debated for 20 yrs. and studied for nearly the last three years!"

"There are over 1400 students on SOC wait lists" ... "Is there anyone waiting to go to Parkland, Buckman Hts or Olympia HS? Has there ever been? Why not?"

"Our children deserve emotional, educational, financial and moral decisions & support" ... "ALL Greece children deserve emotional, educational, financial and moral decisions & support."

"Eliminating the sibling rule will split up my family" ... "Retaining K-2/3-5 & 6-8/9-12 school structure splits up my family."

"Odyssey lacks football, a pool, electives, etc" ... "Odyssey offers IB, smaller classes, safety and supportive staff/parents."

"You'll waste money sending more buses if you eliminate the sibling rule" ... "You're wasting more money sending extra buses with a split-up elementary school configuration."

"All schools have a sibling rule" ... "Only SOCs require a single lottery win that lasts at least 6 -7 years."

Schools-of-choice
provide no benefit
TO THE DISTRICT !

Saturday, June 11, 2011

N Syracuse Picks Kim Dyce-Faucette For Supt.

  
SCATS ~~ The level of ignorance within the Greece Central School District's Board of Education for their failure to FULLY consider this candidate will likely haunt us by December.
  

Friday, June 10, 2011

NEW POLL: What Will They Do?

  
Tuesday night, the Greece Central School District Board of Education is slated to vote on Supt. John O'Rourke's "School Choice" proposal. The 10 step resolution up for a vote includes elimination of the sibling rule, elimination of secondary options, some transportation changes, etc.

Will they man-up and vote to make the much needed changes? Or will they postpone, yet again, making any significant changes to a school structure that's divided neighborhoods for 20 years? Or will they make minimal changes & delay the most hotly contested items?

< --- TELL US WHAT YOU THINK BY VOTING IN OUR NEW POLL!
    

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Fire Trucks, Police Cars @ Apollo MS @10:30am

No signs of a fire drill seen ... What's going on?

WGCE Seeks Community's Help

WGCE is a community TV station that currently runs on channel 6. Originally my father, Sal Caterino, obtained a licence for this station in order to put public access and community programming over the air. He hoped to expand it to create a real community television station in our area. We now have an opportunity to do just that. For over 25 years Educable provided community programming over public access with a minimal level of funding. Still we provided the opportunity for individuals and groups to speak out on public issues such as the state of the school district and the town, as well as well as many special events call-in’s event and locally produced programs. They would have been able to do so otherwise. In addition we presented educational and arts programming.

With the virtual elimination of public access in the west side, WGCE is the only real outlet for community programming in our area. Given the closed nature of many of our public institutions and the media, community tv can be a vital resource giving voice to community interests and concerns There is a real need in our community for alternative perspectives. These include locally produced programing on issues from citizens and local non-profits as well as programming by local small businesses, clubs, and interest groups who are relatively invisible on local network and cable TV

Broadcasting on analog channel 6 poses a problem. Channel 6 gets a good deal of interference from Canadian channel CJOH out of Ottawa. This limits our reception.

We have received permission to move our signal to digital channel 25. Not only will this eliminate interference, it will greatly expand our coverage area. A digital channel will also be easily received by most area viewers. Our expanded coverage area will create a real opportunity to create a different type of community programming.

The transition to digital however, requires new equipment, We will be putting up a new transmission tower with a new antenna and transmitter. This all cost money. In addition the town of Greece made it very difficult to get approval for our tower taking over 8 months to approve what was essentially a minor modification of an existing use. These delays cost time and of money.

Our station receives no government public or corporate funding, While this allows us to be a real community television station by and for the residents in our area, it means community support is vital. So we are asking those who think a community station is worthwhile to give us a donation to help defray the cost of equipment for the digital transition. Or alternatively you can underwrite programming on WGCE. It doesn’t matter if your contribution is large or small, it will help bring community television to our area.

You can mail us at:

Educable Communications Corp
2221 Ridgeway Ave
Rochester NY 14626

Make checks payable to Educable Communications or call us at 227-7710. Donations to educable are tax deductible.

Brian Caterino
  

Stolen Vehicle From City Found Ablaze In Greece

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Good Idea Or Bad?

  
MERGING CHARLOTTE LIBRARY WITH
BARNARD CROSSING WOULD
CONSOLIDATE OPERATING COSTS

Rochester Mayor Tom Richards said closing the two branches and building a new one is an option that would be a “compromise.”

"We have been contacted and have had very preliminary discussions, and if it makes sense, it may be something we’d be willing to consider in the future.” ~~ Kathryn Firkins (13WHAM)

SCATS ~~ One more nail into the coffin of Dewey Ave. should this happen.
       

Britton Rd. Wegmans Closing Soon

WHEC-TV reports: "Wegmans will be closing its Britton Road store located on Dewey Avenue at the end of July.

Spokesperson Jo Natale said, “Today, there is close to 1-million square feet of retail food and pharmacy space in the Town of Greece including our own. It’s more space than can be supported by the town, despite its size.”

The Britton Road store opened in December 1983. Since this store opened, Wegmans opened a 90,000-square foot store at Latta and Long Pond Roads in 1989, built a new and larger 107,000-square foot Ridgemont store in 1993 and in 2007, replaced the Mt. Read location with a new 100,000-square foot store.

Wegmans says the Mt. Read store has attracted many Britton Road shoppers since it opened and to meet the growing demand at that store, the company will invest $1.7-million to expand the pharmacy, increase product sections and expand seating.

The 348 employees (78 full-time and 270 part-time) will be offered positions at other are Wegmans locations. The majority of employees will likely be transferred to other Greece locations especially the Mt. Read Boulevard store with is just a mile from the Britton Road store.

The Britton Road store opening in December 1983, replacing a store Wegmans had operated since the 1950s at Northgate Plaza on Dewey Avenue.


SCATS ~~ The "PEOPLE of WALMART" will be coming soon ...
 

Whining & Crying & Hand-Wringing, Oh My!

  
Listen LIVE on WGMC 90.1FM

Tonight @6:30PM

As The Tail Wags The Elephant!
  

Monday, June 06, 2011

Teacher Pay In Greece Is 3rd Highest Of 67 Local Districts

  
Livonia ranks #1
Pittsford ranks #2
Greece ranks #3

SCATS ~~ So we're #3 despite not giving GTA a new contract in years? Yet we are near the bottom in the county for how we rank on academic outcomes. Sounds like there's NO REASON TO NEGOTIATE ANY NEW CONTRACT!
  

Greece's Music Education Program Misses Mark

  
Eight local school districts, including six from Monroe County (Brighton, Hilton, Penfield, Rush-Henrietta, Webster & West Irondequoit ), have been named "Best Communities for Music Education" by a national organization.

Greece failed to make the list. (D&C)

SCATS ~~ I can't wait to hear the excuses made for this!
  

Meetings Reminders ...

  
School Choice Hearing
Tuesday June 7th
6:30PM ~ Olympia HS Auditorium

SCATS ~~ Come out to watch a select group of "adults" (i.e. Lottery Winners) posing as parents and employees while they cry into microphones, wring their hands & beg the BOE to retain a program that has outlived the purpose for which it was intended. There is NO BENEFIT TO THE DISTRICT FOR RETAINING SCHOOLS-OF-CHOICE.


Northgate Neighborhood Group ~ Update on Northgate Plaza Work
Wed. June 8th
7PM ~ Aldersgate Church
4115 Dewey Ave.
 

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Home Schooling ...

  
... The Next Best Thing To Odyssey?
   
In the last decade, the number of home schooled children grew from 850,000 to 1.5 million.
That’s according to a recent report by the National Home Education Research Institute.

Some of those who were home schooled graduated in Rochester Saturday evening.

Christine Foss decided to home school her daughter Rebecca after she noticed her daughter was starting to have a hard time in the third grade.

"The atmosphere she was in, in public school didn't really suit her well,” Foss said.

She shifted Rebecca's focus at home where she saw instant results.

"We get a little more one on one time when their home during the day and in general I’ve found that there are so many opportunities available to homeschoolers now."

"It just wasn't really working for me. I wasn't feeling educated enough, I really need more one on one with my mom,” said Rebecca.

It's an idea that's caught on for mothers like Patti Owens. She homeschooled all three of her children, who are now adults.

"A teacher has their hands tied; they can only be with the kids for so long. They don't have a constant presence a parent does to be able to pass those morals on,” said Owens.

The kids say they don't miss out on typical high school experiences either.

"We have a prom, there's lots of sports teams, I don't feel like I'm missing anything at all,” Rebecca said.

Students and parents also say they don’t feel they’re missing out when it comes to interaction with different cultures. Some parents who are teachers feel that’s the purpose of field trips outside of the home. Many also make it a point to meet with other homeschool groups.

Home schooled students fare well in academic achievement too. A recent home school progress report shows that home schoolers scored 34 to 39 points higher than the average student on standardized testing.

The report also found that whether or not parents were teacher certified didn't make a difference in student performance.

Rebecca says now that she's graduated, she plans to take some time off to figure out what she wants to do and may attend a local community college. (13WHAM )

SCATS ~~ How many Greece kids are home schooled these days?
 

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dear Kristin ~ The Sky Won't Fall ...

  
... If Schools of Choice Close
GreecePost 6/2/11
Click to Enlarge

SCATS ~~ Where to begin in correcting her ridiculous conclusions, concerns and miscalculations?

Example: Illogically, she picks on Buckman Hts. (grades 3-5) as a school that will "remain empty" with it's current 362 students if we eliminate school choice, but ignores the fact that West Ridge has barely 388 students (grades K-5) with choice! What about Brookside with just 273 students (grades 3-5) ? Why not use that example to make her case?

I especially love this projection about other Greece teachers, should we eliminate choice and have to redistribute staff: "We will have teachers pushing into all the other district buildings, interrupting established programs -- changes that will impact teacher morale all around the district." I guess she doesn't view her co-workers as very professional or adaptable! If I were one of her peers, I'd feel insulted by being described as a bullying dolt!

Lastly, some miniscule amount of credibility MIGHT be possible had this piece been written by someone with NO STAKES IN RETAINING ODYSSEY. But it wasn't.

WHAT THE BOE MUST ANSWER: WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO THE DISTRICT -- FISCAL, EDUCATIONAL, OR OTHERWISE -- IN RETAINING SCHOOLS-OF-CHOICE?

We already know the answer ;)
There is NONE!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Holding A Hearing Without A Plan

  
The "School Choice Hearing" is just days away. As is so typical in Greece, confusion reigns. The reason is that the Greece Central School District Board of Education HAS FAILED TO PUT A SOLID PROPOSAL UP FOR DISCUSSION!

Since O'Rourke put forth his School Choice Fact Sheet in February, the BOE has met, heard presentations, and discussed the pros, cons and costs of various ideas, BUT THEY HAVE NOT ASSEMBLED A PLAN FOR THE COMMUNITY TO COMMENT ON. Here is a sampling of just a few questions we've heard no answers to:

1 - Is the sibling rule going to remain, or be eliminated?
2 - Will Odyssey move to Apollo?
3 - If so, when?
4 - How will the Apollo kids be accommodated at Olympia?
5 - If we would have to build new gyms to have K-5 at elementary school, wouldn't there be a need for an extra gym at Olympia, if the Apollo kids move there?
6 - If so, at what cost?
7 - What will the boundaries look like around the schools once secondary option & signature schools are eliminated?
8 - How many middle school students might end up in a boundary for a different high school than they currently attend in?
9 - Will students be grandfathered in through a phase-in of this plan?
10 - What happens to the Hoover Drive School building?
11- Will the BOE EVER HOLD A TRUE DIALOG WITH THE COMMUNITY?
12 - WHAT THE HELL IS THE PLAN THAT THE BOE SEEKS COMMENT ON???