Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Odyssey Tail Still Wagging The District Dog

  
The Dysfunction Continues ...
... Albeit An Improvement From The Past

From GCSD website:

"The Greece Central School District is in the midst of a school consolidation recommendation process. Three stakeholder teams are analyzing the options and their recommendations will be presented to the Board of Education on December 13.

It is the intention of district leaders to share information through channels that allow all parents and community members to receive accurate information at the same time. Of course, personal conversations that occur as part of the study process need to take place in order to complete an analysis.

On Monday, the unexpected announcement of a special PTSA meeting at one school made it necessary for the district to change its school consolidation communications plan.

All interested residents are invited to attend the Odyssey Academy PTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 27 in the Odyssey auditorium. Information about the school consolidation process thus far will be shared. To be clear, we are in the early stages of this process. There are no formal consolidation options. Only one small sub-group comprised of three secondary principals and one assistant superintendent have developed options for consideration. It is possible that other teams assessing the situation will present additional options for consideration. The official options will not be shared until the December 13 Board meeting.

In the meantime, the district will continue to keep parents and residents updated on the district website and through the use of Cable Channel 12. District leaders are developing a fact sheet for community members explaining the process, what is being considered, why it is being considered, and when a decision is likely.

The meeting at Odyssey will be videotaped and made available shortly through the district website via a podcast. It will also be sent to Cable Channel 12 for airing. Other recorded presentations outlining the very preliminary consolidation options will soon be available online.

Residents are encouraged to send feedback about the preliminary options to the district by emailing community.information@greece.k12.ny.us.

SCATS ~~ In a truly FUNCTIONAL SYSTEM, Odyssey's Administration would be censured and made to cancel this meeting instead of DO changing their plans! I will give credit to Babs for inclusion of the entire district, instead of turning her back on this outrageous act of defiance. Thanks to those who informed SCATS about the meeting, allowing us to publicize this event and allowing DO to make the above announcement :)
 

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Id like to know if there is a stakeholder team that represents the interests of ALL the students and families that want the SOC private education that only the chosen few are so lucky to receive. Some how I doubt it as the only concern is how to keep SOC.

Anonymous said...

Good for the new super!
If she had the meeting cancelled, you would have complained that she was covering it up.
An open meeting was forced upon her, but at least she seems to be taking the bull by the horns.
Can't wait to see what actually happens at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

It's always about the punishment around here...

SCATS said...

To 10:35PM ~~ Sadly, no.

To 10:42PM ~~ You don't know that ;) I'm looking for hints that GCSD might become FUNCTIONAL under this new leadership.

To 12:09AM ~~ Yes ... those school-of-choice folks are nothing but whipping boys for the rest of us (hear the oozing sarcasm, please!).

Anonymous said...

And of course she probably realized that there are rebels among us that would have attempted to crash the elite meeting with possible dire consequences.
SCATS strikes again. Thank you.

In the old days that meeting would have gone on secretly as planned and the rest of us would not have known.

The new super handled this masterfully. Thanks to her too.

And the SOC people should stop trying to shift the focus as they whine about being "punished". They are a community that will be diluted and redistributed when those schools are closed. But the same would happen to a geographic high school community if that school was closed. They should have seen it coming and not felt so untouchable and sacred and invincible. SOC parents:We do not cry for you since you have been so arrogant and smug in the past. This is directly in reference to the Westridge Kindergarten "scare".
We have to give them credit for coming up against the last 2 superintendents who backed down each time they roared. Maybe our new girl will not be so easily intimidated. Let's hope she lives up to our expectations.
Also the Odyssey principal seems to be leading the charge to fight against any district attempt to close or change any of the present choice situations. Let's hope that she is given a warning and then put on notice for the obvious insubordination she has been engaging in. (She may well have been warned already) Tenure does not protect you from cause . Even principals can go on improvement plans. History repeating itself.

Anonymous said...

Advocating for my children knowing that what I am advocating for will come at the expense of other children is morally and ethically WRONG!

Anonymous said...

How was this meeting "secret" when it was posted on the web?

That's a terrible way to keep a secret.

Anonymous said...

Does Channel 12 have a schedule available somewhere? Can't find anything on the web or newspaper.

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing they might move Apollo students to Olympia! If that happens, I'm moving! There is no way in hell my daughter will ever go to Olympia as an 11 year old!

SCATS said...

To 3:01PM ~~ You don't want your child mingling with all of those city kids that Greece taxpayers are quietly footing the bill for? MAYBE it's time to get serious about theft of services in this town?

Anonymous said...

It sickens me that the district would even consider a plan that closes 1 building and instead of just disrupting that group of kids it will disrupt a second set by moving them too...."OA to move to Apollo". It is creepy!

Anonymous said...

How about moving OA to Olympia High... They would fit and not "displace" other kids...

Anonymous said...

Good reference to mckinney vento which requires the states and school districts to provide education to homeless children in their "school of origin" which was the last school they attended before they were supposedly homeless. Homeless means possibly living with anyone in Canandaigua or the city after attending Greece for a while. It is the responsibility of Greece to educate the child and the responsibility of Greece and Canadaigua or Rochester to share the responsibility and cost to transport from the sleeping address in Canandaigua or city to and from the greece school. This federal requirement and law appears to be part of the no child left behind act and was created in 2002? So we have the republicans to give credit to for this wonderful atrocity?
As taxpayers and residents we have the right to know how many children (not their identities) are attending greece schools under this. Even if they are honestly homeless this is ridiculous crossing the borders of districts. Therre could also be people lying. They can be in Greece school and not be homeless but say they are homeless and in the city with a friend's family and continue to stay at olympia for example while the petition of the parent or liaison is pending. That could take all 4 years of Olympia. Nice deal. No wonder the administration isn't bothering now to pursue theft of services.

Anonymous said...

Here is a story about how the act protects those that we would have thought were stealing school services.

http://www.thedailynorwalk.com/news/mom-pleads-not-guilty-norwalk-enrollment-case

Anonymous said...

Even more interesting is this article that explains it more fully. Especially note the part where she says the school district encouraged her to sign a notarized statement saying what she knew and she says they new was not true. Isn't that suborning perjury?

http://norwalk.patch.com/articles/tanya-mcdowell-when-does-it-become-a-crime-to-seek-a-better-education-for-your-child


Also definition for suborning perjury. A notarized statement is signed under oath just like in court. If what she says is true that district was assisting her by telling her to have the statement signed when they knew it was false. Of course she is guilty of plain old perjury too. let's hope our officials are not assisting in this manner.
http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Suborning+Perjury

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a child at Apollo and more to come, I am extremely upset that Ms Mier wants the Apollo building and thus shuffling the families that have chosen Apollo, or shall I say just goto Apollo to yet again sacrifice so that her program can remain unaffected. And why would there be a need for a parallel smaller 6-12 on site , if there is room for more students to join OA with it being relocated to Apollo it should be open for enrollment to its fullest! SIckening!

Anonymous said...

It would seem that the schools of choice have another advantage. There are no homeless children in them even though there is this act of congress. Any children in the schools of choice would have to win the lottery. So if a child was in 5th grade at Brookside (becoming homeless and living with relative or friend in the city during that year)for example and was in the city homeless under this act they would get to attend greece schools for their subsequent years if Greece was their "school of origin". Remember "homeless" does not mean they are living in the streets or a shelter necessarily. But would such a child be allowed to submit their name to the lottery for Odyssey? Just wondering. The lottery is done through the US postal service and the letters go to the residents of greece. Would the letters notifying and inviting be sent to Auntie or Grandma in the city where they are staying during their homelessness. I think not. Those schools are really elite and here is another example. I will bet there are no city residents either stealing services of there as a result of this federal requirement in the Odyssey Academy but there are many in Olympia.
And consider the children in the elementary schools. Same situation but we don't have as many complaints about outside residents in those schools.

Anonymous said...

What's sickening?

Odyssey is a successful program. Much of its success is based on its small-school environment. The proposal floated last night would create two ADDITIONAL small-school environments and open about a third of Odyssey enrollment as a neighborhood school.

I fail to feel the nausea.

Anonymous said...

The OA is successful because it is filled with white, middle class and affluent kids. This demographic of kids, historically and statically, does very well on state tests. The district spends more money on this group of kids, therefore that money is not there for the rest of the district's kids- SICKEN YES!!!! People need to wake up in this district! How can maximum money be saved when it sounds like SOC busing is still going to exist!

Neighborhood schools with similar course offerings at each should be what we are thinking about.

Anonymous said...

10:47 it is sickening that for this school to continue ALL the children at apollo must once again sacrifice. WHY DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO MOVE TO OLYMPIA so that the few chosen can have OUR SCHOOL and once again exclude my kids. They did not win the lotto and its ok we love apollo. WHY are APOLLO kids and families the casualties in Miers PLAN. WHERE IS THS OA sacrifice?>>>>>THERE IS NONE!!!!!!AND BTW if it was that the success is from the "small size" of school then why does it need a lottery. It should be a neighborhood school like another....wanna bet that the success and results go out the window when they are given who they get based on residence and not on "lottery" that has loop holes...oh yeah and does not demographically represent GREECE...

SCATS said...

To 10:47AM ~~ What's nauseating is that while we are supposed to be CONSOLIDATING SCHOOLS/SERVICES in order to reduce costs & reign in our ginormous budget, we're now talking about adding schools!

ENROLLMENT IS DOWN BY 2500+ STUDENTS! WE MUST CLOSE SOME SCHOOLS!

To 11:05AM ~~ I agree with you. The big secret about Olympia is that perhaps as much as 25% of those kids are coming here from the city! THEY are causing the trouble in that building. GCSD has given-up on trying to do anything about the situation. Olympia has been sold down the river ... sad, sad, sad. Watch the neighborhood around it continue to decline too. Soon Odyssey will feel it at their new location inside Apollo. There's no escaping the crawl of the city into Greece as it has taken over the Dewey corridor and continues to creep westward down Maiden Ln. invading our schools as it progresses.

Anonymous said...

It took me two days of phone calls to get anyone to even talk to me at Greece Central about Mckinney Vento act numbers. When i finally talked to someone they refused to tell me how many kids took advantage of it in Greece. She said she didnt have those numbers. We need a committee to get the kids out of our schools that are steeling education from greece kids. What can we do???

Anonymous said...

All this chatter about Schools of Choice (entitlements) that serve less than 5% of the entire populations is really moot.

There is in effect a State Education Law that as a parent you have options you may now know about.

The law simply states that if your child is attending a sub-performing district school, you have the right to ask to have your child transferred to a higher performing school. The district is required to honor these requests on a space available basis. There's a new wrinkle on the district's SOC process.

Simply put, if you are unhappy with the education your child is receiving at say, Athena Middle School, you can request a transfer to Odyssey.

Also subject to SED rules, a set maximum student quota must be justified by the district as necessary due to space availability. In my opinion, only charter schools and private schools may establish quotas.

By requesting your child be transferred to Odyssey and being refused your options are: demand that your child be placed at the top of the lottery list or appeal to the State Education Department for remediation.

SCATS said...

To 2:14PM ~~ I'm SURE they don't want those figures made public! Can you imagine the potential backlash if we were to discover that 250+ students attending Olympia HS didn't live in Greece? Think about how high it must really be after we factor in the other schools too.

To 2:41PM ~~ Very interesting indeed. One question though. When you mentioned "a sub-performing district school" is that based upon NY State standards of performance? Or are you suggesting it is performing below the OTHER DISTRICT SCHOOLS? If you could provide any links to these laws, I'd be most appreciative, TY.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I can get this straight. No one here is happy that their children at Apollo aren't getting the small school 6-12 Odyssey experience, and it's not fair that the poorer population in the Apollo area is underserved by the Odyssey experience (even though the OA priority attendance area is within the Apollo zone). One of the plans on the table is to take the 3 middle schools and 3 high schools and turn them into 6 small 6 - 12 schools like Odyssey. Another plan is to run 2 6 - 12 Odyssey models at Apollo and another 6 - 12 academy at Olympia, thereby making it much easier to get the small OA experience for many more students, especially in the poorer areas of Greece. Aren't these the things everyone has been asking for?

Anonymous said...

11:05 says Odyssey is successful only because it is full of affluent, white middle-class kids.
Isn't the opposite side of that saying that schools that are not successful are so only because they're full of non-white, poor, lower-class kids?

Anonymous said...

SCATS says "There's no escaping the crawl of the city into Greece as it has taken over the Dewey corridor and continues to creep westward down Maiden Ln. invading our schools as it progresses."

Could you clarify what you mean by "the city?"

Black people? Poor people? Bad people?

What does your so vivid code couched in such terrifying language really mean?

Frankly, once "the city" "crawls" over the line and "continues to creep westward" they become OUR PEOPLE, like it or not.

Deed restrictions and redlining went out with the civil rights movement.

Anonymous said...

I heard recently at a meeting that there are currently 105 homeless students throughout the GCSD.

SCATS said...

To 6:53PM ~~ It sounds like you have the "insider info" ... why not share it ALL with us poor peons?

Will all of those smaller schools have similar demographics to Odyssey's? Will they all offer the number of AP course & IB opportunities Odyssey offers?

Anyone with an IQ over 90 can tell you that making 2 schools out of Apollo or Arcadia or Athena MS will never be the same as the one current Odyssey ;) Nice try though.

To 7:17PM ~~ Here's two clues for you to ponder. #1 ~ think 10th ward from 25-30 yrs. ago & compare to the Dewey to Mt. Read corridor now. Anyone who is familiar with what the 10th ward is like CURRENTLY should be scared to death of what this will mean for the schools, home values, crime, etc. #2 ~ Ask most any Greece cop who either patrols the Dewey corridor or who is an SRO @Olympia HS. They will clue you in ;)

To 7:53PM ~~ That number might represent the truly "homeless" that GCSD is actually aware of. The other several hundred are largely service thieves we've given up trying to do anything about because we lost a court case a few yrs. back (so I'm told). Bottom line: that means we're paying to educate kids who don't have a right to attend Greece schools. We're also paying for it via more in-school problems (fights, suspensions, gangs, etc), lower test scores, a worsening reputation as a district, falling housing prices ... the associated list of problems is potentially quite large.

Anonymous said...

I'm 6:53. No, I have no "insider info." I'm simply a "poor peon" who went to the meeting open to the public on Thursday. As far as the number of AP and IB classes, I would have no idea which ones or how many would be offered. However, the models suggested for Olympia actually sounded more academically rigorous to me.

And I forgot to point out before to the 8:40 am poster that I don't know where he/she got the idea that making changes at Apollo was just Meier's idea. Linda Pickering was part of the committee and she seemed pretty excited about the proposed ideas on Thursday.

SCATS said...

To 9:31PM ~~ I just heard this week that there are three subcommittees. Any idea who comprises them and what the charge of each of them is?

Anonymous said...

Visit the district's website and hit the school consolidation link. You will find the info on the three committees there.

Anonymous said...

The one committee charged with looking at secondary options for closure and consideration consisted of Meier, Pickering, Chris Sloane, and someone else, I believe at the meeting they said Laurie Platt. I don't know who sits on the other committees but I believe it was said that one was charged with looking at the elementary schools closing/consolidation options and the other was to look at transportation. That third committee might have been transportation and something else, but I can't remember for sure.

SCATS said...

To 10:05PM ~~ I'm not sure that's quite right. All I find under that tab is this: "Three Board, District and community stakeholder teams have been tasked with analyzing Greece Central's school consolidation options. The Advisory Task Force met multiple times in September and October and members continue to collect and analyze transportation and fiscal data. The Attendance and Finance Committees meet in October, November and December."

Which team is the one Meier sits on?

To 10:41PM ~~ Thank you very much :)

Anonymous said...

Heard Apollo is in restructuring because it has been on the SED's schools in need of improvement list too long. Might be the reorganization move is as much about that as about saving $. This is public info on SED website.

SCATS said...

To 10:55AM ~~ You are correct. This was the subject of a recent study session, though I don't believe the word "Apollo" was ever uttered ;)