Friday, December 30, 2011

VanOrman Doesn't Understand Her Duties

  
Regarding the upcoming potential changes to the structure of some Greece Central School District Schools, Greece school board President Julia VanOrman told the Greece Post: "We have to make sure we have their (the community's) support and engagement."




SCATS ~~ Getting support from & engaging the community is NOT your job! Your job is to ensure that ALL Greece Central students receive the best and most equitable education possible at a cost that's reasonable to the taxpayer's who must foot the bill.
  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

True Transportation Cost To Retain SOC's Is Much Higher

  
Charlie Hubbard said...

After reading some of the committee reports (worthless as they are) and attending Tuesday nights meeting it was obvious that the preservation of schools of choice is first and foremost on the minds of those in charge.

When I asked 'what is the purpose of schools of choice' it took a while but finaly got one answer which was 'to give parents a choice'.

Schools of choice come with a cost - a big cost - for because of schools of choice we also have 'open enrollment'.

Because of schools of choice we also have 'signature schools'.

Because of schools of choice we transport kids to a school or baby sitter that fits your needs.

The cost of transpotation to provide these services is enormous. The educational benefit (for all) I have never heard. When anyone offers a dollar figure for the transpotation costs associated with schools of choice make sure that figure includes all the extra costs of transportation for all the regular ed kids outside thier home school area.

Also don't let anyone try to make these figures 'look better' by including state aid for 2 reasons #1 there is no guarantee the state will always be reimbursing at the same rate especially after the state is made aware of the extra money we are spending for touchy/feely choice.

#2 the last I knew state aid was paid for by state residents. It is NOT free.

As I said Tuesday night the resident who spoke about having 4busses line up on his street every morning to take kids to 4 different high schools did not believe his tax dollars were being spent wisely. So far that taxpayer has been disrespected and ignored along with so many others.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com   12/23/2011 12:40 PM

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Man Shot 3 Times At Greece Hotel

  
The D&C reports: A man was shot inside a Greece hotel tonight, police said.

According to Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton, the man was shot two or three times in the leg and lower extremities about 8 p.m. at the Extended Stay America hotel, 600 Center Place Road, off Buckman Road.

Chatterton said the man is from the Rochester area and was not a hotel guest. He did not identify the victim.

While police aren’t sure of the motive, they do believe the victim was targeted, he said.

A female companion was with the victim at the time of the shooting, Chatterton said, and she fled the scene. Greece police are asking this witness to come forward and help the investigation.

The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment; his medical condition was not immediately known.

No suspect has been taken into custody; police continue to investigate.

SCATS ~~ Do police tell us that the victim was "targeted" to try to give us a false sense of security about living in an increasingly crime-ridden town?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Breaking News ...

   
Anonymous said...


BREAKING NEWS...But certainly not surprising. My sources in Geneva tell me that Carol Pallas did not get the Superintendent position. How come the "leaders" from the 8th largest district in NY can never get hired any other place?

Merry Christmas SCATS!!!    12/24/2011 4:10 PM

Imagine If Mary & Joseph Had Facebook

  

Friday, December 23, 2011

'Tis the Season ...


   

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Congratulations, Babs!

  
You've Topped Achramovitch At BS'ing Us!

Tuesday night's meeting was rife with examples!
Here's a few that stand out:

Example #1 ~ "The power of the "and" ..."

SCATS ~~ We already have all different kinds of school configurations ~ K-2/3-5, K-5, pre-k -2/3-5, 6-8/9-12, 6-12 ... WE NEED YOU TO CONSOLIDATE!

Example #2 ~~ Will the proposed Odyssey move to Apollo create a combined school or two different schools?
Odyssey will reflect district demographics in fall 2012. It will become one Odyssey 6-12 school. The Administrative Task Force (Secondary Sub Committee) studied two parallel “House” schedules to continue the small school schedule with a larger group of students. This would enable the smaller learning community model to continue. It is anticipated that all middle and high school schedules will be reviewed for the 2013-14 school year as the district prepares to implement Common Core Standards in a fiscally constrained environment. It is anticipated that the incoming 6th grade class at

SCATS ~~ This question begs for a simple answer, but your response attempts to say two different things at the same time! First you say "it will become one Odyssey 6-12 school." Then you say the plan "would enable the smaller learning community model to continue." This is simply NOT possible unless you intend to keep two separate (i.e. "parallel") schools running!

Example #3 ~~ If Odyssey were to move to Apollo, would current Odyssey students be separate from neighborhood students?
Concepts such as Schools within Schools, Smaller Learning Communities, middle school teams, and parallel schedules are all designed to assign students and teachers to groups so relationships can be built and high achievement can occur. There is a perception that Schools within Schools would have Odyssey students scheduled separately from neighborhood students. That is not the case.

SCATS ~~ This is a "yes" or "no" question, but again you've mired us down with rhetoric in an attempt to play to and appease everyone ... which just isn't possible. Worse yet, the parents are going to be REALLY, REALLY angry at you when they find out how badly you've duped them! The "truth" is that while the students might all have the "same schedule" they will NOT all have the same Odyssey experience that is up and running today ;)

Example #4 ~~ "What is the purpose of a school of choice?"
"One purpose is that they've been successful." ~~ Sue Meier

SCATS ~~ For someone with a doctorate degree, you seem to have a hard time understanding simple English. Their "success" is NOT a purpose. And Babs should have stepped up and given a direct response to the question. Everyone knows that schools-of-choice have outlived their intended purpose. Currently, their purpose is to provide an escape hatch for parents who don't want their kids rubbing elbows with the kids who attend Olympia HS and Apollo MS. Their "purpose" is to segregate!

Example #5 ~~ Will Pine Brook and West Ridge continue as Schools of Choice?
It is recommended at this time that Schools of Choice would continue and the selection process adjusted to ensure the schools represent socio-economic demographics to the extent possible. The current proposal is to adjust the lottery system, ensure assignment through attendance zones around schools of choice, and to ensure that incoming kindergarten classes and future classes reflect district demographics.

SCATS ~~ If you actually do all that this response implies, then our K-5 schools-of-choice as we currently know them, will be gone within a few years! You are just grand-fathering in the squeeky wheel people for thes hort term and they will have to hope their kids make it through before the folks at Longridge realize what's going on ;)

Example #6 ~~ "What will happen to open enrollment?"

SCATS ~~ There was no response to this that made any sense at all. Clearly, there is no plan to end it!
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miss Tuesday's School Consolidation Forum ?


Fill Out This Questionaire
&
 Email It To :


(Click on image to enlarge)

SCATS ~~ I recommend answering Question 1 ~ Yes; Question 2 ~ No; Question 3 ~ Yes.
 

2 Greece Teachers Obtain National Certification

  
CONGRATULATIONS

Nancy Kehoe
&
Delaina Grasso-Infantino

"A good teacher is the single most important ingredient in student success.” ~~NY Education Commissioner John King

 
SCATS ~~ King is 100% correct. GCSD can stop blaming the parents, the kids and the free lunches now. It's frequently the poor teaching that pushed Greece's test scores down into the basement.
  
    

Monday, December 19, 2011

Despite Committees, Consultants & Studies ...


It's been 21 years since the creation of  schools-of-choice.

The original purpose for having them resolved itself when enrollment plummeted from about 15,000 students to a current  figure that hovers around 12,000.

NOT ONE IOTA OF DATA EXISTS

TO SUPPORT RETAINING CHOICE IN GCSD

They fail to reflect district demographics
They cost more to operate
They have divided the community
They provide NO benefit to the Greece Central School District
    

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Committee Reports On School Consolidation

   
Administrative Task Force Report

School Attendance Advisory Committee II Report


Finance Committee Report: An Examination of School Closings

Transportation Route & Attendance Boundary Study

Cabinet Analysis

SCATS ~~ If anyone finds evidence within these reports to support retaining SOC's, please show us what report & page # provides the data showing that schools-of-choice are:

  • fiscally prudent and cost-effective;
  • beneficial to the district, not just to lottery winners;
  • demographically defensible;
  • an efficient use of space;
  • an efficient use of transportation & other services;
  • serving a defined need that exists today!
I'm betting that NO SUCH DATA EXISTS ;)
  

Schools-of-Choice: A "Given"


SCATS,
Everybody please take a deep breath and let’s calm down and review what happened at Tuesday’s BOE meeting. I know ahead of time this is not going to be a popular posting but hopefully I can help to bring a little understanding to the current Greece Central’s School Consolidation Report.

I was at the meeting and listened to each of the five reports. I was happy in that there were school closings to more closely match building capacity to current student enrollment numbers. It was a mystery to me why I did not hear anything about SOC other than moving them to another location? Strange?

In talking with some individuals they said look at the BOE Goals for the 2011-2012 school year. So I did and then I read the Board Briefs on the District’s web site. Here is what I found:

Greece Board Goals for 2011-2012
1. Establish a strong governance team with the Superintendent, Cabinet, and District.

2. Take steps to understand the issues and options to:
-Streamlining school and transportation operations to reduce costs.
-Impact of closing a school building(s) by consolidating students/grade levels or programs.
-Study methods to align schools of choice with district demographics.

3. Initiate and support the development of a 5 year strategic plan to become high achieving and fiscally stable and cost effective.

4. Build effective and transparent communication strategies to establish common support for goals and strategic initiatives.

District Goal #3
3. Ensure economical and effective business and support operations with an emphasis on quality, service, and efficient use of limited resources.
-Evaluate efficiency of current transportation system/practice
-Evaluate use of district/school space and consolidate schools and buildings
-Implement long-range fiscal/facilities plan (Capital Project)
-Continue to evaluate programs using benchmarks for cost efficiency and quality performances.

I have been most critical of Greece Central for NOT having BOE Goals and District Goals. This year they have them! BOE Goal #2 and District Goal #3 is the charge to the school district’s superintendent. She is legally responsible to carry out and or implement the BOE Goals for the 2011-12 school year.

Supt. Barbara Deane-Williams was NEVER given a charge, by the Greece BOE, to evaluate/analyze open or close any SOC schools in Greece Central. She can not go off. on her own, and do what she wants to do. Goals, once approved by the BOE, become her charge and responsibility to do BOE Goal #2 and District Goal #3 as it is written.

I personally do not know where I stand on SOC schools. I tend to think they have out lived the original purpose. There has to be equal education and equal educational opportunities for all students enrolled in Greece Central. Currently this is not the situation in Greece.

My only point is that it is not the Superintendent’s fault for not evaluating the SOC schools. There was no direction or directive to her to evaluate them. This is just a fact not an opinion.

Sincerely,
Doug Skeet

SCATS ~~ Doug, thank you for refreshing my memory about the content of the goals! BOE Goal #2 makes retaining schools-of-choice a given from the gitgo. I can see your point about the charge to the Supt. However, District Goal #3 has not been tended to related to SOCs. I still want to see & hear about the DATA, the STUDY, the DISCUSSION by the BOE and whatever other "evidence" they used to decide that schools-of-choice are:
  • fiscally prudent and cost-effective;
  • beneficial to the district, not just to lottery winners;
  • demographically defensible;
  • an efficient use of space;
  • an efficient use of transportation & other services;
  • serving a defined need that exists today!
They've given us NO REASON TO RETAIN THEM! After all, our BOE is pleading poverty going into the budget season and everyone knows that SOCs cost more!
   

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Whatever Happened To The "KISS" Principle*?

       
School Consolidation/Options (Caution! Reading through this is likely to make your brain hurt, your eyes bulge & your blood pressure rise!)

School Consolidation FAQ's

Survey Seeking Your Input On The Plans

SCATS' Alternative 
  1. Close Odyssey & send them back to their home schools (most are from Apollo/Olympia) where space is already available to accommodate them. Let Odyssey's bldg. revert back to the folks who own the land.
  2. Close West Ridge & send these kids to Brookside creating a K-5 school. Move Brookside kids to Parkland creating another K-5 school. This plan provides proximity to Affinity for PL/BS students to continue GCSD's ongoing efforts to engage those parents.
  3. Close Paddy Hill & send these kids to Kirk Rd. creating another K-5 school.
  4. Retain whichever building (Barnard, West Ridge, or Paddy Hill) is least costly to maintain for potential future needs. Sell the others. Sell the $100,000 piano in storage at A-PAC that no one is permitted to touch & use that temperature/humidity controlled space to house the records now stored at Barnard.
  5. End signature schools, schools of choice and secondary options. Redraw boundaries as needed attempting to retain "traditional" boundary lines to the extent possible. Provide "walk zones" around each bldg. Reduce school staffing to align with need for fewer teachers, administrators, etc.
  6. Oust the kids from GCSD who are non-residents!! According to Doug Skeet, this may be as much as 600 students!! We may even be able to close ANOTHER school (secondary) down the road by getting this outrage under control. We could use that space for an ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL, in the future.
  7. Redo transportation for babysitters to some model that makes sense, reduces costs & waste. Redo bus schedules so that K-5 students are bused together. Consolidate bus runs/school schedules where able.
  8. This simple plan moves fewer kids, makes a good dent in moving back to a K-5 structure (PL, BS, KR & PB will all be K-5), reduces transportation costs, reduces administration/teaching & other staffing costs, ensures the trouble-makers who don't belong here aren't disrupting student learning for those that DO belong here and retains the secondary school model for all but those currently at Odyssey.
  9. Make future adjustments as able to return more schools to a K-5 structure.
  10. Look at the future possibility of creating an Alternative School for secondary students who need additional support, possibly using the elementary school we close, but retain in the near term.
* The KISS Principle ... Keep It Simple Stupid
  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"I Could've Wrapped Your Package"


Julia VanOrman said to Joe Quirk ...

Quote of the Meeting ...
 

GCSD's 2012-13 Budget Starts With $7 Million Deficit


Coupled with a 2% tax cap, a loss of federal aid & "flat" state aid, the time is NOW to DOWNSIZE the number of buildings, buses and employees to match enrollment levels.

Creating new schools within schools is NOT the answer!

Ousting non-residents is an absolute MUST!
  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BOE Meeting Tuesday @6:30PM

  

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION

The Administrative Advisory Task Force, Attendance Committee II, and Finance Committee will each present recommendations to the Greece Board of Education on December 13. The three groups have reviewed data related to school capacity, facility conditions, and enrollment trends. The Administrative Advisory Task Force also reviewed student achievement data, the direction of New York State’s Common Core Curriculum and Assessments and individual school schedules to ensure a focus on improved student achievement. Each group will make presentations to the Board on December 13.

Also on December 13, a Transportation Efficiency Analysis including projected savings will be presented. A financial and staffing analysis will round out the evening’s presentations.

Options Include ...

1 ~ Close Hoover Dr & move Odyssey to Apollo. Create another small 6-12 grade school on site and add a small middle school program to Olympia HS.

2 ~ Close West Ridge School and redistribute its students back to their home schools.

3 ~ Close West Ridge School and move it to Parkland. Relocate Parkland students to Brookside School, thereby creating another K-5 building.

4 ~ Close Kirk Rd. and move its students to Parkland. Relocate Parkland students to Brookside School, thereby creating another K-5 building.

SCATS ~~ Where is the "option" of eliminating schools-of-choice? Where is the "option" of eliminating open enrollment? Where is the "option" of holding the lotteries in an open meeting? It appears that GCSD has no intention of bringing relief to taxpayers by closing schools & eliminating redundant staffing in the form of building principals, vice principals, teaching staff, librarians, counselors & others. Instead, they plan to create MORE schools!

ONLY IN GREECE COULD CLOSING SCHOOLS RESULT IN RETENTION OF THE STATUS QUO!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dec. 13th: Vote Out the Incumbents Day


FIRE DISTRICT ELECTIONS
Dec. 13th.

Don't forget to vote (You must be registered with the Monroe County Board of Elections)

Ridge Road Fire District @1299 Long Pond Rd from 6 to 9PM (Why such short hours??)
Lake Shore Fire District @1 Long Pond Rd from 2 to 9PM
North Greece Fire District @1766 Latta Rd from 2 to 9PM
Barnard Fire District @3084 Dewey Ave. from 2 to 9PM

CONTROL YOUR TAXES!!
GET SOME NEW BLOOD INTO THESE POSITIONS
  

Friday, December 09, 2011

Let's Call It What It Is ... It's A Gang

   
Greece Post Headline of Note:
Greece Police Dept. Crack down on criminal activity (pg. 1)

The article describes how a recent GPD investigation led to the arrest of a group of mostly juveniles who committed a series of car larcenies & home break-ins in the Dewey/Stone area dating back to summertime.

Lt. Jason Helfer ~~ "The stuff that we attributed to them, we're not seeing any more. Calls for fights that involved this group of people to crimes that fit their MO has dropped off immensely ... the department took the criminal activity very seriously, and wanted to curb it as swiftly as possible, as the group was trying to establish a criminal enterprise."

SCATS ~~ I Say "Gang" ... Greece Police Say "A Criminal Enterprise"... Why are we sugar-coating this problem when the issue has already become an ongoing problem inside Greece's high schools?
  

Greece Soccer Coach Charged



WHEC-TV reports: State Police have charged a Hilton man with larceny and scheme to defraud after they say he stole money from the parents of players on a travel soccer team he coached...

According to State Police, 46-year-old Dennis Schuler was the coach of a girls' travel soccer team based out of Greece from August 2010 until April 2011. Police say that during that time, Schuler collected over $3,000 from parents of the team members to pay for soccer-related activities and services under false pretenses.

Police say Schuler, who is a former employee of the Athletic Republic on Lyell Avenue, used that facility for team and individual training and did not reimburse the company for the time used.

Schuler is charged with grand larceny and scheme to defraud, both felonies, for the Greece incidents. He's charged with petit larceny and falsifying business records, a felony, in the City of Rochester.

Schuler will reappear in Greece Town Court on December 13th, and in City court on December 15th.
  

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Car Larceny Suspects Caught In the Act



WHEC-TV reports: Three Rochester men have been arrested for going through vehicles in the town of Greece.

Greece Police were called to the area of Stone Road and McCall Road around 10:22 p.m. on Sunday for three suspicious men possibly going through vehicles. Police arrested 25-year-old Bocar Seck and 17-year-old Mamadou Bah. Both are charged with criminal possession of stolen property. They were arraigned and are currently being held in the Monroe County Jail.

Police say the third suspect, 19-year-old Frederick Walker, was later arrested following a short chase. He's being charged with criminal possession of stolen property, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Police say Walker was on parole for robbery until November 29, 2011. Walker was arraigned and is currently in the Monroe County Jail.

An investigation found that all of the suspects had entered numerous cars throughout the area and were in possession of several stolen GPS units that were taken from unlocked vehicles.

SCATS ~~ Thank you to the alert neighbors who cared enough to call 911! Good job to GPD, too!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


WHEC-TV also reports: A 23-year-old Rochester man is under arrest after police say he stole Red Bull and soda from Wegmans and resisted arrest.

Greece Police have charged Adalberto Alers Jr. with petit larceny, resisting arrest and false impersonation.

Police say Alers tried to leave the Mt. Read Boulevard Wegmans on December 5 with more than $200 worth of Red Bull and soda. When he was stopped by store security with police present, officers say Alers resisted arrest and repeatedly tried to reach into his picket during the struggle. Police say they recovered a razor blade from Alders’ pocket.

Investigators say Alers gave them a false name and date of birth and his identity could not be confirmed initially. Police were eventually able to learn Alders’ identity and found out that Alders had five outstanding warrants from other police agencies.

Alers was remanded to the Monroe County Jail and is awaiting several court dates for the outstanding charges in numerous jurisdictions.  

QUESTION: How is it that GPD took this thief into custody when he resisted arrest while he REPEATEDLY attempted to go for a razor blade in his pocket ... AND they did it without the use of pepper spray, a taser or gunfire? If he had been a dog, he'd be dead!
 

An Excellent Suggestion!!

  
School boards approve most significant mandate

Once again, Jody Siegel of the Monroe County School Boards Association laments the lack of mandate relief from Albany (Nov. 27 essay).

Reminder: The most significant spending mandates school district residents support result from the employee contracts (wages and benefits), which are approved by school boards. Spending is the real issue; taxes are a result, not a cause.

I would like Siegel and her school boards to agree on and publish a list of the mandates they want the public to lobby to have eliminated. The key word is "eliminated." Mandates they want us to pay for with a different tax should not be on this list.

I look forward to real progress on mandate issues. I hope school boards will publicly recognize the cost of mandates they impose on taxpayers is as important as mandates imposed by Albany.

—TOM KACKMEISTER  (Editorial)

Just In Time For Christmas ...

    
For The Guy Who Already Has Everything?




SCATS ~~ Can you say "creepy"?
 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Polls Reportedly "DEAD" Today

  
How Low Will Turnout Go??

Under 3,000??

Polls are closed & the tally is: 1538 Yes
924 No

SCATS ~~ Under 2500 turned out to the polls! Apathy has reached a new low.
   
  

GCSD Loves To Punish "Complainers"

       
 Attention ALL Craig Hill Parents!!

From a parent ...

So yesterday I find out bus 734 from CH Elem. is forcing kids to sit with the opposite sex on the ride home. This is grades 3-5. All so the bus is quiet. Is this called for? I called the bus garage and was told they are doing this for the reason of keeping the bus quiet. Just wait until something happens on the bus when a 3rd grade girl is stuck in a seat with a 5th grade boy. And if you challenge it they stick your kid inthe front seat by themselves. Like they are in trouble..... REALLY??? Wish I had a school list for all the kids to let the parents all know about this!!!

SCATS ~~ Don't district employees realize this is a form of bullying also?

UPDATE 12/8/11 ~~ Situation resolved! Parent notified that driver & attendant have been reprimanded.
  

Monday, December 05, 2011

Round-Up the Voters, Get 'Em To The Polls ...





VOTE TODAY ~~ 6AM - 9PM
@Elementary Schools
  

Friday, December 02, 2011

Remember This When You Vote Tuesday On GCSD's EXCEL II Bond


TWO OUTHOUSES ... ONE PICTURE IS WORTH 1000 WORDS!


Thursday, December 01, 2011

10 Reasons To Vote "NO" On EXCEL II


  • Holding a second vote this year wastes money.
  • Waiting until December when seniors are away is a scam that reflects poorly on GCSD's motives for doing so.
  • They haven't figured out which schools to close yet!
  • They don't know exactly how they will use our money, because if they close a school, they'll reallocate its repair funds elsewhere without needing our approval.
  • Capital repairs should be part of the annual budget !
  • Financing door hardware & other small items over time makes no sense fiscally!!
  • Our BOE is not worthy of our trust, and has proved that once again.
  • GCSD's dishonesty over what this funds, since some sports related improvements are included.
  • It makes no sense to build new structures (like dugouts) when we haven't been financing repairs to existing structures!
  • Once they get our approval, they can spend it on anything they want ~ even turfed fields!