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???

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The O'Rourke proposals of february.
They suggest a committee to look into the feasibility of moving Odyssey to Apollo . It is possible.

One has to wonder why they are so willing to vacate that building on Hoover Dr. There must be more to the story. This district never gives up something. They might be afraid we will find out what is compelling them to leave. Could it be toxic?

Anonymous said...

This forum will be yet another exercise in futility.

The BOE members will sit stoicly with no expression on their faces while people who have been assembled by the various PTA's complain about little susy's ADHD and need for smaller classes and tailored environments.

The BOE will not offer any comment nor address any concernd raised by the community.

The BOE will then leave and meet the following week and make a decision based on whoever yelled and screamed the loudest.

The BOE will then pat themselves on the back for "listening" to the community and "making the hard choices".

Why can't they have a dialog with the community? They seem to be afraid of picking a direction and defending their decisions.

Where is the leadership in this community?

SCATS said...

To 4:50PM ~~ Toxic other than the chemicals emitted by the big neighbor with smokestacks? Or maybe you meant the lingering asbestos in a deteriorating building?

To 5:03PM ~~ OMG, someone else sees things the way I do!! The BOE can't have a dialog because they can NOT defend their decisions as anything other than self-serving!!

Anonymous said...

I think it makes perfect sense to take 12 & 13 year old kids from Apollo and drop them into the battle zone that is Olympia. How could you argue with that move? Drug use, daily fights, a wonderful graduation rate (sorry, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth) nonexistent discipline, and a total lack of respect from the student body.....What's not to like about this idea?

Anonymous said...

11%, 24%, 16%.. our SOC

38% district wide

Everyone just look the other way...........

Anonymous said...

You want to know what's going wrong with Greece schools? Look no further than the situation at Charlotte Beach the other night. The incidents at the beach were only part of the problem. The bigger part of the problem is the media's unwillingness to "call a spade a spade". Nowhere in the D&C is there a story covering the situation that allows readers to comment on the issue. Look up "Charlotte" on the D&C site: story only, no feedback! It's the similar mentality here in Greece. We all know exactly what element in ruining our schools, our mall, our financial situation, ect. Nobody wants to come right out and say it. Schools of choice are just another way for the district to insulate it's prefered families, while not having to point out the REAL issue.

Anonymous said...

So the kids from apollo will end up going to olympia - and I'm piecing together that olympia has a similar climate as to what we saw at Charlotte Beach?

Yikes!

Anonymous said...

the real issue is that they HAVE preferred families!!!! idiot teenagers come from ALL races and family incomes!!

SCATS said...

To 2:25AM ~~ Try driving by Olympia during release time some afternoon. You might be shocked by what you see.

Anonymous said...

6:20 I know your theory about where "idiot teenagers" come from and look like may be a popular thing to say, but if your a gambling person you would bet against your pc theory 8 days a week. Statistics, although not always "nice", don't lie. Greece Olympia is by far the worst performing high school in this district. Please use your own theory to explain why this is.

SCATS said...

To 8:41AM ~~ Olympia HS is among the worst performing high schools in the county. Aside from Odyssey, our others aren't doing spectacularly well either.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

If we move Odyssey to Apollo the Greece School District will lose the International Baccalaureate program, since schools are accredited, not districts. This program is a great addition to the district. Should we jeopardize this program? The school board has not thought this out. They need to have a plan to present to the public and not try and create it on the fly.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ As long as the school name remains along with the same principal, programs, etc. what dif. does location make?

There is no "plan." All they have is a list of stuff O'Rourke proposed. They don't know what they want ... except to put this behind them ASAP. If they had a "plan" they'd have to take a stand, defend their actions. But they can't.

Charlie Hubbard said...

When you look at the raises given to the management of these high schools how can any of you say the results are not stellar?

Please clarify!!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, don't you realize that we are really Lake Wobegon where all the students are great, all the schools are excellent, all the administrators and teachers a far above average?
Oh, yes, all the taxpayers have unlimited financial reserves.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Cagwin...lemme guess, your kid is in the IB program, right?

Anonymous said...

Cagwin, really pathetic!

Anonymous said...

If OA moved as a school 6-12, students staff and admin) just to a new building it DOES not change the IB certification.

Anonymous said...

Even if the IB program is in jeopardy the greater good of the whole group of students in the district must be considered.
As scats said the whole school could be just relocated with the same membership number for IB. State ed has different criteria and would probably want the school to be re-registered but IB would not care. As long as they are paid and the teachers are taking the courses to be certified they would be happy.
So back to the greater good....how many kids are in Odyssey high? about 360 with 40% in IB that would be 144 students. So we can close that old building and save the cost of upkeep and put the Odyssey kids in a bigger and newer building and economize across the district.
So for the risk of 144 students and the prestige that comes with the Odyssey Mystique we have to be wagged by the tail? I think not.

SCATS said...

To 9:31PM ~~ Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Jeff, are you on this for the greater good, or only the good of the few?

And by the way, the B program can be reinstated at a new building.

Anonymous said...

Administrators have said over and over there is virtualy no difference between IB and AP.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Ok this is not about my kids. This is about the School Board does not have a plan and without a plan this is just nuts.

The people of this district just spent a bunch of money to "renovate" Odyssey. So this money was wasted? Well it is Greece Central, they do know how to waste money.

I would like to know why is there so much hate at Odyssey? Is it that it is the best performing High School that Greece has? Is it because it is small and not all kids can go there?

Why would the public take the best performing High School and try to bring it down?

My kids will be done with school this year. My comments have nothing to do with them.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ You say it's NOT about your kids ONLY BECAUSE they will all be done with Odyssey by the end of the month, right?

You are correct. The BOE does NOT have a plan! They wouldn't recognize a plan if one flew up and smacked them in the collective sides of their heads. But like you, many of them have a stake in schools of choice. THEY DO NOT WANT TO MAKE A DECISION BASED UPON GOOD FISCAL & EDUCATIONAL PLANNING! THEY MIGHT HAVE TO DEFEND IT IF THEY DID!

For some reason, people such as yourself TRY TO MAKE THIS ABOUT ODYSSEY. Why do you fail to mention Pinebrook & West Ridge? Those schools are also creating added expense, have lengthy wait lists (esp. PB), bring the rest of the district ridiculous inequity.

Here's a few things to chew on about Odyssey that helps make it such a stellar performer, Jeffrey. You should be ashamed that after all of these years, you do not know the answer to your question. It isn't rocket science.

1 - When students go to OA, they apply ONCE for grades 6-12. At the other district MS/HS campuses, they must apply twice: once for grades 6-8 and again for grades 9-12.

2 - Odyssey doesn't have to worry about taking transfers in to their bldg. in mid-year, like all non-school-of-choice schools do. They can let their already smaller class sizes shrink even more as students leave the district during the year. There will be NO interruptions in the class to help little Johnny Newcomer catch up on his math.

3 - Odyssey might start out with a group of 115 students in grade 6, but by the time that group graduates, there are often only 80-90 in the class!

4 - District Office has NO plans to place any Special Ed students into OA grades 9-12, as is clearly seen on the district's own enrollment projections which you posted a link for yesterday. Take a long hard look ;)

5 - The dirty little secret about how OA has many fewer free & reduced lunch students ensures OA has a group of anal compulsive helicopter parents buzzing about the little darlings who attend OA.

6 - The BOE, DO & teachers throughout Greece do nothing but b*tch about how awful Greece parents are and how uninvolved they are in their kid's education. Well DUH!!!! Most have "no choice" but to have their kids split between as many as 4 school buildings, while the lottery winners don't have to live with the inconvenience of dealing with more than 2! On the other hand, lottery winners like you sit back and say stupid stuff like "Why do you want to close the best performing school in the district?"

As you know, I could go on and on and on, but I won't.

7 - THERE IS NO EDUCATIONAL OR FISCAL BENEFIT TO THE DISTRICT FOR RETAINING SCHOOLS-OF-CHOICE!

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

First let me say this has nothing to do with the fact my kids will be out of school at the end of the month.

1 - Well this will go away as they will not need to apply at all.

2 - Not true Odyssey get additional students during the year.

3 - Not true again. The last 2 Classes have been around 115

4 - Is this Odyssey's fault or the districts?

5 - I have always had a beef with this. Why is it that everyone thinks that if a student does not have the financial means that they are not as smart

6 - Right now Siblings get to go to the same school if they wish. This is District wide as it should be.

7 - I am undecided on this. Fiscal I agree. Educational I disagree some. If a student is in a school that they dislike they are not going to do as well as if they are in a school they enjoy.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~

1 ~ Who says it will go away, or that no one will need to apply? Is it in the plans to force kids to go there against their wishes?

2 ~ You say it isn't true, but I have yet to see anything from DO that shows me otherwise. Pinebrook, Odyssey & West Ridge get no mid-year transfers in. Never have. If they did, they'd have been graduating larger classes over their 20 years!

3 ~ You use 2 years out of 20 yrs to make your point? It's about time this problem gets resolved.

4 ~ OH PUH-LEEZE! Has Odyssey's principal ever requested that DO make them more like other schools? I suspect not ;)

5 ~ Having your own beef about it didn't get it fixed.

6 ~ This argument about the sibling rule doesn't work because the other schools aren't like Odyssey, West Ridge or Pinebrook! The other schools are for only 3 grades at each building (4 at the hs), not 6! And at other MS/HS campuses, you must apply twice, once for MS and again for HS if you don't live in the boundary area.

7 ~ That does NOT give THE DISTRICT some benefit, only to the individual school. For what it's worth, it was the Comptroller who said the BOE must ensure that the programs & services PROVIDE A BENEFIT TO THE DISTRICT, not Frank Oberg ;)

Jeffrey, answer this question please: You ask why do people want to close down the best performing high school. Please list the things that make Odyssey the best performing school.

Anonymous said...

The recommendation was not to close down the Odyssey academy but to consider relocating it to the Apollo building and relocating the Apollo students to some space that might be at Olympia building. That would make Olympia house grades 6-12. If that building won't handle all those kids the boundaries would be redrawn for the now 3three 6-12 schools. And Odyssey at Apollo could handle about 400 more students because that building is bigger than hoover dr. Why would any of the students at Odyssey have a problem with this unless they don't want their school to be called on to take the extra kids that Apollo facility would require? Are we saying that the Odyssey family is not team players as we try to make the most out of the resources that we have? So far except for the Cappiello and Cagwin opinions, we haven't heard any other odyssey naysayers to the recommendations. Have they been used as representatives of the entire odyssey staff and parents in this issue? Or are they just speaking as individuals?

And shouldn't the parents and students of the non-choice 6-12 communities be informed about the need to redraw boundaries to distribute the students to the three 6-12 buildings of Olympia, Athena and Arcadia? Oh yes they have!!They were in the February document with the recommendations. They don't seem too upset by the plan. They haven't had robo-calls trying to preserve their boundaries. Maybe they are a more mature and less self-centered and whining group.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the last comment stopped the whining.Hard to argue with the facts.

SCATS said...

To 5:39PM ~~ Agreed! And NO ONE has been able to argue that SOCs have outlived the purpose for which they were created or to tell us even ONE BENEFIR THEY BRING TO THE DISTRICT. Case closed.